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Natural History Museum Library 





The Exhibition Galleries are open to the Public, free, every week- 
day in 

January, from 10 a.m. till 4 p.m. 

February, ,. „ „ „ 4.30 „ 

March, „ „ „ „ 5.30 „ 

April to August, „ ,, ,. ,, 6 ,, 

September, „ „ ,, ,, 5.30 „ 

October, „ „ ,. „ 5 

November and December ,, „ ,, ,, 4 ,, 

Also, from May 1st to the middle of July, on Mondays and 
Saturdays only, till 8 p.m., 

and from the middle of July to the end of August, on Mondays 
and Saturdays only, till 7 p.m. 

The Museum is also open on Sunday afternoons throughout the 

The Museum is closed on Good-Friday and Christmas- Day. 

By Order of the Trustees, 

















Price One Shilling. 













All rijhts reserved. 



The arrangement of the Fish Gallery and the preparation of 
the coloured skins and casts which are there displayed, have 
occupied a good deal of my time for the last four years. The 
work of mounting and labelling have been done under my 
supervision by Dr. Ridewood; the preparation of coloured 
skins and casts by the taxidermists and modellers employed for 
the purpose. 

If large series of fishes are to be exhibited to the public, it 
seems to be necessary that they should be carefully painted 
over so as to give, as far as possible, the natural colours of 
fresh specimens. This is an extremely difficult task and I have 
no doubt that, in spite of the care which has been taken, 
correction and revision will be needful hereafter, in regard to 
some of the specimens. Many of the specimens have been 
coloured from life and the rest from authoritative coloured 
drawings either published or communicated for the purpose. 

The models of Deep-sea Fishes and of several extinct fishes 
have been most carefully executed under my constant 
supervision and are entirely new. The series of the species 
of living Dipneusta (Prtoopterus and Lepidosiren) are ad- 
mirable representations of those fishes. The specimens of 
the Tunny, of the Flying Gurnards, and of the brilliantly 

coloured Plectognaths, Angel-fish, and similar forms seem 
to justify the method of coloration employed. The principle 
had already been accepted by the late Keeper of Zoology, 
Dr. Giinther, who had prepared several specimens coloured 
in this way. I believe that there is no other collection of 
Fishes in a public museum in which the specimens are 
presented without the usual iron supports, with sufficient space 
around each fish and in natural colours, instead of the oily 
brown which all dried fish skins tend to acquire. 

The attitude of the specimens in the Gallery is either that of 
a dead specimen lying on a slab, or is a conventional one 
chosen so as to shew as much of the character of the fins as 
possible. It would not be possible to faithfully present the 
fish in the act of swimming, nor would fish in their natural 
surroundings be a desirable kind of exhibit: for, like many 
other animals, fish in their native haunts are usually concealed 
by their colour and surroundings from the observer's eye. 

The present Guide has been prepared by Dr. Ride wood in 
daily consultation with me. Several of the illustrations are 
new: for others we are indebted to Guides formerly published 
by the Trustees, and to Messrs. Macmillan and Messrs. A. and 
C. Black. 

Every specimen in the Gallery is provided with a number 
and is referred to in this Guide by that number printed in 
thick large type. 

The English names or common names of specially inter- 
esting fishes are affixed in large letters to the glass of the case 
in a position near the specimens of such fishes. 

All those fishes which come under the head of British 
Food-fishes are indicated in the case by the letters B. F. F. 

The label of each specimen gives its zoological name, its 
local name, its English name or names, and as far as practicable 
its French, German and Italian names. The distribution of 

the species is stated and the particular locality from which the 
specimen exhibited was obtained. In addition information is 
given as to any matters of special interest concerning the 
fish. This Guide is a collection of the labels with some 
additions, arranged systematically so as to shew the groups 
into which fishes are divided, and is illustrated by figures 
which are to a large extent taken from photographs of the 
specimens actually seen in the cases. 



British Museum (Natural History), 
Loudon, S.W. 

Dec. 23, 1907. 


Since the above preface was written, it has been thought desirable 
not to use the " thick large type " for the numerals denoting the 
individual specimens, and these have therefore been printed in 
ordinary type. 



The Fish Gallery is on the main floor of the Museum, in the 
western portion. Visitors entering the Museum can reach the 
Fish Gallery by turning sharply to the left into the Bird Gallery, 
and taking the first turning to the right ; or by passing through 
the Entrance Hall along the left side, and, on reaching the archway 
at the left side of the main staircase, turning to the left through a 
small doorway. 

The specimens exhibited in the Fish Gallery consist mainly of Exhibited 
stuffed specimens, coloured as far as possible to resemble the fishes s P ecimens ' 
in their natural conditions ; there are also some casts and models 
of fishes, the skins of which are not suitable for exhibition, either 
because of their damaged or distorted condition, or because of 
their small size, or because the skin is so thin that it cannot be 
stuffed, or because the fishes are extinct, and only fossil fragments 
remain to indicate to us what they must have looked like. 

Only a small proportion of the Fishes in the Museum are Specimens 
exhibited in the Fish Gallery ; the greater number are preserved oI°l 
in alcohol and, as a precaution against fire, are stored in a detached 
building at the back of the Museum. These specimens are mostly 
un suited for exhibition, and are not accessible to the general 
public ; they are, however, available for scientific purposes by 
ichthyologists under certain conditions, which can be ascertained 
by making application in writing to the Museum. A large 


collection of skeletons of Fishes is similarly available for purposes 
of scientific study. 

On entering the Fish Gallery from the Bird Gallery the visitor 
will see two small Table-cases (21 and 22) standing in the middle 
line of the Gallery, the first containing specimens and enlarged 
models of the Lancelet, and the second containing Lampreys and 
Hag-fishes. These are not "Fishes" in the strict use of the word. 
The Lance] et is not even a vertebrate animal, in the sense in which 
that term is now employed, but belongs to the Cephalochorda, a 
division of the Chordata ranking equal with the Urochorda or 
Tunicates (Sea-squirts, Salps, &c, exhibited in the Shell Gallery), 
and the Vertebrata (including Lampreys, Fishes, Amphibians^ 
Reptiles, Birds and Mammals). The Lancelet resembles the 
Tunicates and the Vertebrates in having a median skeletal rod, 
known as the notochord, in the dorsal position and tubular 
character of the central nervous system, and in the perforation of 
the side wall of the body in the neck region by gill-slits. The 
Lancelet differs from the Tunicates and Vertebrates in that 
the notochord extends farther forward than the central nervous 


Table- The Lancelet or Amphioxus (fig. 1) is a small, semitrans- 

parent, marine animal about two inches in length (see specimens 
in alcohol, 1046, Table-case 21) ; it lives in shallow seas in many 
parts of the world and frequently buries itself in the sand. The 
edge of the mouth is produced into a number of curved bars or 
" buccal cirri " (see enlarged model, 1047), which act as strainers 
and prevent sand grains from getting into the mouth, while not 
stopping the water that is used for respiratory purposes, nor the 
minute living organisms that constitute the food of the Lancelet. 
The gill-slits do not open directly on to the exterior of the body, 
but are covered in by a wall called the atrial wall, which extends 
as far back as the pore (atriopore), through which issues the 
water that has passed through the gill-slits. The anus or vent is 
unsymmetrical, being set on the left side of the lower fin ; there 
is no distinct head, no paired fins, and no paired eyes or ears. 



For the general internal structure of the Lancelet the visitor is 
referred to the special case affixed to the side of one of the arches 
on the West side of the Entrance Hall of the Museum. 

The two specimens A and B, 10-18, mounted on the framed pane 
of glass in Table-case 21 are wax models, enlarged 100 diameters, 
showing the remarkable lack of symmetry that exists during the 
early or larval stages of the Lancelet. The mouth developes on the 
left side, and only subsequently passes downward to occupy a median 
position. Primary gill-slits, to the number of fourteen, appear 
in the ventral median line and move upwards on the right side. 
Eight secondary gill-slits then appear above them on the right 
side, and, as they enlarge, the primary gill-slits descend and pass 
across to occupy their permanent position on the left side. After 
this, tertiary gill-slits develope on both sides behind the existing 
ones and continue to increase in number throughout life. The 

Fig. 1. — Lancelet : a, mouth ; b, atriopore ; c, vent or anus ; 
d, anterior end of notochord. 

three models 1049 C, D, and E on the other framed glass show 
the manner in which the atrial wall, which in the adult covers 
over the gills, closes by the downward and horizontal extension of 
the side folds of the body (metapleural folds), and the union of the 
edges of these flaps along the middle. The models represent 
three different stages of development, and show the ventral or 
under surface of the larva. In C there is no atrial floor, the right 
and left metapleural folds being distinct ; in D the horizontal 
ledges growing in from the inner faces of the metapleural folds 
have united in the hinder part ; in E the whole of the atrial floor 
is complete except at the extreme anterior end. 

On the other side of the Table- case are shown enlarged models 
of Tunicates for comparison with the Lancelet, one (1050) of the 
larva of a simple Ascidian such as the common Sea-squirt, and 
three models (1051, 1052, 1053) showing different views of an 



adult Appendicular^ {Fritillaria furcata), which is one of the few 
Tunicates that retain the tail in adult life. 

At the end of the case are shown drawings of ten species of 
the Lancelet. 

CYCLOSTOMI (Lampreys and Hag-fishes). 

Table- The Cyclostomi, or Lampreys and Hag-fishes, are aquatic 

case zz. Vertebrates not included among the " Fishes " or Pisces because 
of the absence of a hinged lower jaw. The mouth is adapted 
for sucking; when open it is round in shape (whence the 
name Cyclostomi, or " round -mouth "), and it is closed by the 
approximation of the right and left margins ; the teeth are of a 
horny material and have a vertical succession. The body is long, 
without scales in the skin ; the tail-fin is simple, and there are no 
paired fins and no traces of pectoral and pelvic girdles. The 
nostril is single; the gills are in pouches, the external and internal 
openings of which are small. The skeleton is fibro-cartilaginous, 
and the notochord persists for life. Two divisions of the 
Cyclostomi are recognised, the Hyperoartia (Lampreys) and the 
Hyperotreta (Hag-fishes). 

In the Hyperoartia the external nasal aperture is on the upper 
surface of the head, and from the inner end of the nasal sac there 
leads back a tube which ends blindly above the pharynx (see 
dissection 1059). There are no barbels. The eggs are small 
(see 10G0). Each gill-pouch has its own external aperture. The 
median fins are relatively larger, and are more subdivided than in 
the Hyperotreta. Various species of the Lamprey occur in the 
temperate parts of the northern hemisphere, the commonest being 
the Lamprey, Petromyzon marinus } 1057, and the Lampern or 
River Lamprey, Petromyzon fluviatilis, 1058. 
Lamprey. The word Lamprey comes to us from the Low Latin name 
lampreda or lampetra, the licker or sucker of rocks, applied to 
the animal on account of its peculiar habit of adhering by its 
mouth to stones. The generic name Petromyzon applied by 
scientists refers also to this habit. The mouth when open (1062) 
forms a sucking disc, with numerous brown, horny teeth arranged 
in circular and radiating rows, and with some in the centre 


supported by the tongue. The circular lip around this sucking 
disc is fringed with numerous short tentacles. The Lamprey does 
not "bite" its food as an animal with ordinary jaws would do, 
but attaches itself by its disc to the skin of living Cod, Haddock, 
and Mackerel, and gnaws away the flesh by its pointed conical 
teeth, until it has satisfied its hunger, when it leaves the fish to 
recover, or more probably to die. 

The Lamprey has two dorsal fins, the second being continuous 
with the caudal ; the skin is slimy, the eyes are very small and 
situated in front of the seven small, circular gill-openings. The 
skull of the Lamprey affords but little protection to the upper 
part of the brain, the roof ' consisting merely of a narrow 
"occipital arch" (sec 1061). The " subocular arch" possibly 
corresponds with the palato-quadrate cartilage of the true Fishes, 
the cartilage which in Sharks and Lung-fishes functions as the 
upper jaw and bears the upper teeth. 

Lampreys ascend the rivers from the sea in the spring to 
deposit their spawn. They grow to 30 inches in length and 3 lbs. 
in weight. They were esteemed a delicacy in olden times, but 
they are not much eaten at the present day ; they are, nevertheless, 
wholesome food, and the historical incident firmly fixed in the 
memory of most schoolboys, that Henry I. died after a surfeit of 
Lampreys, should not be allowed to tell against them as an article 
of diet. In England the principal Lamprey fishery is in the 

The Lampern, Petromyzon fluviatilis, 1058, bears a general Lampern. 
resemblance to the Lamprey, but it rarely attains a greater length 
than 16 inches, at all events in British rivers. It usually spends 
the whole of its life in fresh water, although some individuals have 
been caught in the sea. Its skin is not mottled as is that of the 
Lamprey, and the eye is relatively larger. The Lampern does not 
seem to prey upon living fish as does the Lamprey. It makes 
excellent bait for Cod and Turbot. 

Planer's Lamprey, Petromyzon planeri, is smaller than the 
Lampern, and differs slightly in the arrangement of the teeth, the 
shape of the dorsal fin, and in its habit of living in the mud, 
whence it is sometimes called the Mud-Lamprey. The larval 
forms of the Lampern and Planer's Lamprey are known as 


" Ammoccete" (1063), or more popularly as Pride or Sand-piper. 
The Ammocoete differs from the adult in having no tongue or 
teeth, in possessing a hood-like anterior lip instead of an oral 
sucker, in the large size of the internal or pharyngeal apertures of 
the gill- pouches, and in the fact that the respiratory part of the 
pharynx is not shut off by a horizontal partition from the food 

In South America and Australia the Lampreys are represented 
by the genera Mordacia and Geotria (1064) . 

In the Hyperotreta the external nasal aperture is situated at the 
extremity of the snout, and from the inner end of the nasal sac 
there leads back a tube which opens into the roof of the pharynx 
(see dissection 1066). There are barbels on the snout. The skin 
is capable of secreting enormous quantities of glutinous slime. 
The eggs are large (see 1068). In Bdellostoma (1067) each gill- 
pouch has its own aperture on the side of the body, but in the 
Hag-fish, Myxine, 1065, exhalent tubes from the pouches lead back 
and open together. Bdellostoma occurs plentifully in the bays 
along the Pacific coast of America ; Myxine is found widely 
distributed in the temperate zones of the northern and southern 
hemispheres. Both feed on fish, and Myxine not infrequently 
bores its way into the abdominal cavity of the Cod. 

PISCES (Fishes). 

The Lancelet and Lampreys having been disposed of, there 
remain for consideration the true Fishes or Pisces, a class of the 
Vertebrata ranking equal with the Amphibia (Frogs and Newts), 
Reptilia (Turtles, Crocodiles, Lizards, Snakes), Aves (Birds), and 
Mammalia (Mammals, e.g. Rabbit, Dog, Horse, Man). 

Fishes are Vertebrate animals with a distinct and hinged lower 
jaw, passing their whole life in water (with a few exceptions), and 
possessing common distinctive characters in those systems of their 
organization which are in direct relation to their aquatic mode of 
life, namely, in the organs of respiration and locomotion. The 
respiratory organs are gills, groups of delicate vascular filaments 


projecting from the front and hind walls of the gill-slits, and 
supported by skeletal bars called branchial arches. An air-bladder 
is frequently present and serves as a hydrostatic organ or float, 
while in a few cases it may act as a lung and help the gills in 
their work of respiration. The organs of smell are paired, and 
only in rare cases (Lung-fishes) communicate with the mouth- 
cavity by internal nostrils. Except in the Lung-fishes the heart 
has but one auricle and receives only venous blood, which it 
forces, first through the blood-vessels of the gills and thence as 
arterial blood through the vessels of the body generally. The 
skin is either soft and bare or is hardened by the development of 
spines or denticles, or overlapping scales, or bony plates (scutes). 
Peculiar cutaneous sense-organs are distributed along the sides of 
the body (lateral line organs) and on the head, and appear to be 
specially associated with an aquatic mode of life. Such organs 
only occur elsewhere in Amphibians ; in the tailless Amphibians 
(Frogs and Toads) they exist only in the larval or tadpole stages 
(except in the Cape-toad, Xenopus). The principal organ of 
locomotion is the powerful muscular tail ; this is assisted by the 
pectoral and pelvic limbs, paired fins corresponding with the fore 
and hind limbs of terrestrial Vertebrates. The skeleton of these 
paired fins cannot readily be compared with the limb-skeleton of 
other Vertebrates, there being no such bones as humerus, radius, 
carpal and phalangeal bones, and the edge of the fin is not 
divided into the five toes, which are, with exceptions, so regularly 
present in all other Vertebrates. Fishes also possess median tins 
on the back (dorsal fins) and between the anus and tail (anal fin) ; 
these fins are supported by skeletal bars or rays, whereas in Newts 
and other Vertebrates with median fins there are no skeletal 
structures in those fins. 

The scheme of classification adopted in the arrangement of the 
Fish Gallery is set out on pages 200-201. The systematic 
series of Fishes is exhibited in the Wall-cases, commencing with 
Wall-case 1 (Sharks and Dog-fishes) in the S.W. corner of the 
Gallery, and ending with Wall-case 20 (Angler-fishes, File-fishes, 
Globe-fishes, and Sun-fishes) in the S.E. corner. Standing on 
the floor of the Gallery or suspended from the roof are other 


specimens, either too large to exhibit in the Wall-cases, or else 
constituting series of special interest, such as Deep-sea Fishes, 
Eggs and Young of Fishes, &c. 

Central Exhibits. 

The Table-cases 21 and 22, containing specimens of the 
Lancelet and of Lampreys and Hag-fishes, encountered by the 
visitor on entering from the Bird Gallery, have already been 
alluded to (pp. 2-6). In the same line is a third Table- 
case (23) containing a Port Jackson Shark, Cestracion philippi, 
four feet long, caught in Sydney Harbour in 1906. 

In the middle of this half of the Gallery, surrounded by a 
mahogany rail, is the cast of a skeleton of the Basking Shark, 
Selache maxima or Cetorhinus maximus, which was caught off 
Bergen, in Norway, in May 1901, and measured 28^ feet. The 


Fig. 2. — Basking Shark, Selache maxima. 

principal features of the skeleton of Sharks may be studied by 
reference to this specimen. The great jaws are connected with 
the cranium by the upper piece of the hyoid arch called the 
hyomandibular cartilage — a skull in which the jaws are so sus- 
pended is called " hyostylic " (compare the " amphistylic " skull 
of Notidanus (Wall-easel) and the " autostylic " skull of the 
Holocephali (Wall-case 5), and Dipnoi. The characters of the 
gill-arches and gill-rays are well shown in this specimen, as also 


are the features of the vertebral column, the pectoral and pelvic 
girdles, and the skeletal parts of the pectoral, pelvic, dorsal, anal 
and caudal fins, except that the horny fin-rays are not reproduced 
in the cast. For an illustration of horny fin-rays the visitor is 
referred to the skeleton of the pectoral fin of the Dog-fish (3) in 
Wall-case 1. 

Hanging from the roof above the skeleton is a specimen of the 
Basking Shark, 28 feet long, caught off Bergen in 1904, and 
presented to the Museum by the Hon. Walter Rothschild. The 
Basking Shark grows to 33 feet or more. Its food consists of 
small fishes and other marine animals that swim in shoals. The 
gill-rakers are highly specialised, and serve to retain the smallest 
food organisms and to prevent their escaping through the gill- 
slits. On the west coast of Ireland the Basking Shark is caught 
for the sake of the oil obtained from the liver. The Shark is of a 
harmless disposition and does not attack man. 

On the left side of the skeleton is the head of a Basking 
Shark which was 28 feet long, and was caught, in March 1875 
near Shanklin, in the Isle of Wight *. This head shows the 
great size of the gill-slits, the right and left of which nearly 
meet under the throat, and the smallness of the teeth. On 
the other side of the skeleton are the pelvic fins of the same 
specimen, which was a male. The males of all Sharks have the 
pelvic fins produced backward into " claspers," and the interest 
of the present specimen lies in the fact that the tooth-like bodies 
on the claspers of the Basking Shark were first known in the 
fossil state, and their true nature was only recognised when 
the Shanklin specimen was exhibited in the year 1876. Three 
examples of fossil clasper-spines are exhibited in the box adjoining. 
These are from the Red Crag of Suffolk ; similar specimens have 
been obtained from the Crag of Antwerp. Such spines were 
long a puzzle to palaeontologists, by whom they were regarded as 
the terminal phalanges of some large Reptile or Mammal, or the 
separated lamellae of young teeth of a Mastodon or Mammoth, or 
the central cores of teeth of a Xiphioid Whale. 

* Figure - was drawn from this specimen. 


Kays. On the floor within the same railing are specimens of an 

Electric Ray, Torpedo hebetans, 1080, caught in the Menai Straits, 
North Wales, and a large Ray, Raia marginata, 1079, caught in 
Walfish Bay, South-west Africa. 

Hanging from the roof in the middle of the Gallery are two 
other large Rays, both from Muscat, in Arabia — an Eagle-Ray, 
Aetobatis narinari, and a Devil-Ray, Dicerobatis eregoodoo, a 
fish which grows to 15 feet in width, and is distinguished by 
the paired projection (head-fins) in front of the mouth. 

Beyond these Rays, also hanging from the roof, is a Whale 
Shark, Rhinodon typicus, the largest of all Sharks, growing to 
50 or 60 feet in length ; the specimen shown is not more than 
half the full size. The Whale Shark occurs mostly in the Indian 
and Pacific Oceans and has been caught off Florida and the Cape 
of Good Hope. Like the Basking Shark the Whale Shark is a 
slow-moving, apathetic fish, harmless to man, and often found 
basking or sleeping at the surface of the sea. The mouth and 
nasal openings are near the extremity of the broad, flat snout. 
The dorsal fin is much farther back than is that of the Basking 
Shark, and the gill-slits are not so large. The teeth are extremely 
small for so large an animal (see specimen 53 in Wall- case 1), and 
are closely set in regular rows in the form of a ribbon. The 
Whale Shark feeds on the minute semitransparent crustaceans 
and molluscs that abound at the surface of the sea, and to a 
certain extent also on sea-weed. 

Hanging from the roof at the North end of the Gallery is 
a large specimen of the Sun-fish, Orthagoriscus mola, from 
Australia, and hanging near it is a smaller specimen of the same 
species caught off Dungeness in Kent (see fig. 3). 
Side-rails. Running the whole length of the Gallery are two side-rails 
suspended from the roof by chains. Hanging from these rails 
are, besides the Sun-fish just mentioned, a Sturgeon* (opposite 
Wall-cases 6 and 7), 10 feet 4 inches long, caught off the Dogger 

* For information concerning the structure and habits of these suspended 
fishes the visitor is referred to the accounts given in the description of the 
Svsteicatic Series of Fishes exhibited in the Wall-cases. 



Bank in 1873 ; a Saw-fish, Pristis pectinatus (in front of Wall- 
case 5) from Trinidad ; a Greenland Shark, Lcemargus borealis 
(in front of Wall-cases 3 and 4), 15 feet long, caught on the East 
coast of Scotland in 1878 ; a Thresher or Fox Shark, Alopecias 

Fig. 3. — Rough Sunfish, Orthagoriscus mola. 

vulpes (opposite Wall-case 3), caught on the Devon coast in 1897; 
a Shark of the Indian Ocean, Ginglymostoma cirrhatum ; and a 
Grey Shark, Notidanus griseus (opposite Wall-case 1) from the 
Orkney Isles. 



On the other rail are an Odontaspis americanus (opposite 
Wall-case 20) ; an Elfin Shark, Mitsukurina owstoni, caught in 
300 fathoms off Japan in 1903 ; an Indian Shark, Carcharias 
hemiodon, allied to the Blue Shark and White Shark, which are 
also species of Carcharias ; a stuffed specimen and a pair of jaws 
of a Shark known as Galeocerdo rayneri, the teeth of which are 
curiously marked by a deep notch on the outer edge ; a stuffed 
specimen and a pair of jaws of the Hammer-head Shark, Zygana 
malleus-, and two Sting-Rays, Trygon brevicaudata, from New 
Zealand, and Trygon tuber culata, from Australia. 
Floor- Near the doorway at the North end of the Gallery and 

occupying a middle position between Wall-cases 8 and 13, is a 
Floor-case (27), which, at the time of writing, contains a Tarpon, 
Megalops atlanticus, 1110, seven feet long, presented in 1899 by 
His Majesty the King, then Prince of Wales ; also a large Angler, 
Lophius piscatorius, 1016, and an Opah, Lampris luna, 1108, both 
presented by the Hon. Walter Rothschild; also a skeleton of the 
Opah, 1109. Close around this Floor-case are five Cabinet-cases 
(26, 28, 29, 30, 31) the arrangement of which is not at the time of 
writing sufficiently complete for description. They are intended 
for series of eggs and young of Fishes, nests and modes of 
protection of the young, long-bodied eel-like fishes of different 
families, Electric Fishes, Flying Fishes, Sound-producing fishes, 
fishes with poisonous flesh, fishes with poison -spines, fishes 
with suckers, fishes with accessory breathing-organs, hybrids 
in fishes, differences between male and female fishes, isinglass 
from Sturgeon and Polynemus. 

In the vicinity of the Cabinet-cases are three skeletons under 
glass, standing on separate tables, namely, the Nile Perch, Lates 
niloticus (Table-case 33), from the Fayum Lake, Egypt, a 
skeleton 55 inches long ; a Parrot-fish, Pseudoscarus muricatus 
(Table-case 32), with the pharyngeal bones separated from the 
rest of the skeleton to show the curious pavement of pharyngeal 
teeth; and a Stone Bass or Wreck-fish, Poly prion cernium (Table- 
case 34), of which a stuffed specimen is shown in the left upper 
part of Wall-case 13. 


On the large table between Wall-cases 6 and 15, surrounded by Great 
a mahogany rail, are a Great Blue Shark, Carcharodon rondeletii, gjj^ 
from the Atlantic coast of North America, and, on the other side, 'Table 25. 
a Mackerel Shark, Lamna spallanzanii, and the jaws of a Mackerel 
Shark, and those of a Great Blue Shark much larger than the one 
shown on this table. On the floor within the railing are a number 
of specimens, the final positions for which have not at the time of 
writing been decided; they are a skeleton of the Southern Ribbon- 
fish, Regalecus argenteus, a very fine specimen, 12 feet long; a 
specimen of Euoxymetopon poeyi, a fish allied to the Hair-tails 
Wall-case 17) ; a skeleton of the deep-sea fish Alepidosaurus ferox, 
with great teeth and a large dorsal fin supported by unbranched 
fin-rays ; a form of Sea-perch, Epinephelus cernioides, not very 
large considering to what a great size some of the Sea-perches or 
Jew-fishes attain, but interesting as being a specimen caught off 
the Cornish coast ; a Meagre, Scicena aquila ; a Skate, Raia batis ; 
a Sturgeon, Acipenser stario ; and a Quinnat Salmon, Oncho- 
rhynchus quinnat, which weighed 70 lbs. when caught. 

Standing between the two railed enclosures in the middle line 
of the Gallery is a Floor-case (24) devoted to the Sword-fishes 
and Sail-fishes. A description of the contents of this case is given 
on page 170. 

On one side of the Sword-fish case (24) is a small Table- 
case (37) containing a skeleton of one of the African Siluroids or 
Cat-fishes, Arius latiscutatus, and on the other side a Table (49) 
with a large Halibut, Hippoglossus vulgaris, 6 feet 2 inches long, 
caught in the North Sea in 1902, and a cast of a very fine 
Lepidotus maximus, from the Lithographic Stone of Bavaria, an 
extinct fish of the family Semionotidse (see Wall-case 7). 

In front of Wall-cases 6 and 7 stand two Table-cases (50 
and 51) with a skeleton and two specimens of the great Arapaima 
gigas of the Amazon and neighbouring rivers, a fish belonging to 
the family Osteoglossidse (see Wall-case 7 and page 89). Opposite 
these cases, in front of Wall-cases 14 and 15, are two Table-cases 
(36 and 35) containing a large specimen of Platy stoma gigas, from 
the Upper Amazons, and a skeleton of an equally large Bag arius 


yarrellii from the Hugly ; both of these are Cat-fishes or Siluroids 
(see family Siluridse, Wall-cases 9 and 10, and page 112). 
Tunny. On the other side of the door-way leading into the Entrance 
Hall is a large Table-case, 38, standing in front of Wall-case 17, 
containing a very fine specimen of the Tunny, Thunnus thynnus 
(fig. 4), 8 feet long, caught in the English Channel off Weymouth, 
and also an Albacore, Thunnus alalonga ; these are Scombroid or 

Fig. 4. — Tunny, Thunnus thynnus. 
(From Boulenger, Camb. Nat. Hist., vii, 1904, after Cuv. et Val.). 

Mackerel-like fishes (see Wall-case 15, and p. 165). Next follow 
four Table-cases (39, 40, 41, 42), with a Barracuda, Sphyrtena 
commersonii, from Mauritius (see Wall-case 11 and p. 136) ; a 
large Sea-perch, Epinephelus lanceolatus, 7 feet 3 inches long, 
from the Indian Ocean (see family Serranidse, Wall-case 13 and 
page 147) ; and a skeleton and a stuffed specimen of the Angler, 
Lophius piscatorius (family Lophiidse, Wall-case 20, floor; see 
also page 193). 

British In Cabinet-case 43, standing in front of Wall-case 20, are 

Salmon- shown some Salmonoid Fishes of the British Isles; at the time of 

Fishes. writing the series is very incomplete. Other specimens of Salmonoid 
Fishes are shown in the series of British Fresh-water Fishes in the 
North Wall-case of the Pavilion at the West end of the Bird 
Gallery, and some in Wall-case 7 of this Gallery. The tendency 
of modern students of fishes is to diminish the number of species 
to which Salmonoid fishes are relegated, and to regard the colouring 
of the body as of little account compared with such characters as 


the size of the scales, and the number of rows in which they are 
arranged, the positions of the fins and the number of fin-rays in 
each, the characters of the teeth and the proportions of the bones 
of the upper jaw and of the gill cover, these characters being 
reasonably stable, whereas the colouring is largely dependent on the 
conditions in which the fishes live. As a rule the fresh-water 
forms are brown or reddish, and the marine forms bright and 
silvery, and in the case of migratory forms like the Salmon and 
Sea Trout the change from the one colour to the other is to be 
observed in the same individual at different periods of its life. In 
the non-migratory forms the colours are fairly constant while the 
fish remains in the same waters, but by transferring to new localities 
brown forms may become silvery and silvery forms brown. 

The relation that obtains between the environmental conditions 
and the colouring of the fish is expressed by Dr. Gunther * in the 
following terms : — " Trout with intense ocellated spots are generally 
found in clear rapid rivers and in small open alpine pools ; in the 
large lakes with pebbly bottom the fish are bright and silvery, and 
the ocellated spots are mixed with or replaced by X -shaped black 
spots ; in pools or parts of lakes with muddy or peaty bottom the 
trout are of a darker colour generally ; and when enclosed in caves 
or holes they may assume an almost uniform blackish coloration." 
The remarkable differences in the colouring of Trout living in 
neighbouring, but non-communicating, waters is nowhere better 
exemplified than in Sutherland. Loch Scourie, Loch Crocach, 
Loch Borlane and Loch Manse all have their own particular type 
of Trout (see 995, 997, 996, 994). In deep lakes where food is 
fairly abundant the Trout grow to a large size, and such fish are 
called Great Lake Trout, fishes long known as Salmo ferox. The 
specimen of Great Lake Trout, 999, exhibited in the Cabinet-case, 
is from Windermere. 

In Loch Leven the Trout, formerly described as Salmo levenensis, 
are slender and more silvery than most non-migratory Trout, with 
less yellow along the sides of the abdomen and with spots that are 
dark and without any scarlet. Examples of a male and a female 
are shown (991, 992). The Galway Trout, of which a specimen 

* "An Introduction to the Study of Fishes," 1880, p. 632. 


from Connemara is shown, 993, is the fish described by some 
authorities as Salmo gallivensis ; it is a robust fish of estuarine 
habit. Another Irish Trout is 998, a fish from Lough Arrow in 
Sligo. The Sea Trout is represented by an 8 \ lb. fish caught in 
the sea at Montrose, a 7 lb. fish caught in the Tay at Perth, and 
a Smolt from the Tay, caught in May. 

If the colouring of the body be disregarded, the British species of 
Salmo may be reduced to three, namely, Salmo salar, the Salmon 
and its varieties, Salmo trutta, including all the Trouts, such as 
Salmon Trout, Bull Trout, Great Lake Trout and Brook Trout, and 
Salmo alpinics, including all the Charrs. At the time of writing 
the Charr is represented in Cabinet-case 43 by three specimens, 
from Buttermere, Windermere and Loch Scourie respectively. 

Deep-sea Fishes (see Cabinet-case 44) are not fishes of any 
particular order, but are fishes of genera belonging to numerous 
families more or less unrelated which have a deep-sea habit, the 
other members of the families being surface forms or coast forms. 
The proportions of the deep-sea genera to the others varies in 
different families. The families Alepocephalidse (Wall-case 7), 
Stomiatidse (Wall-case 7), Scopelidse (Wall-case 10), Halosauridaa 
(Wall-case 10), Macruridse (Wall-Case 11), Ceratiidse (Wall- 
case 20) consist almost entirely of deep-sea forms, whereas among 
the Eels (Wall-case 8) and Gadidse (Wall-case 11) a moderate 
proportion of the genera occur in deep water, and in the Salmonidoe 
only a very few, such as the Argentine (295, Wall-case 7). 

While the animals that live in shallow seas near the coasts- 
animals such as fishes, crustaceans, molluscs, worms and jelly- 
fishes — exhibit considerable differences in different parts of the 
world, this is not the case with the animals which inhabit the 
deeper parts of the sea. The species of deep-sea fishes and other 
animals which are at all well known have a wide distribution. 

Removed from the glare of the sun, the fishes of the deep seas 
have become modified in relation with the subdued light in various 
directions. Most have exceptionally large eyes (e. g. Aphanopus, 
982, Cabinet-case 44), so as to bring to a focus as much as possible 
of the faint light that succeeds in penetrating to the great depths ; 
a few have eyes which have undergone so much reduction that the 
fishes are blind, and rely for the capture of their food upon the 


increased acuteness of sense organs other than the eyes ; some again 
are uniformly phosphorescent or have special luminous organs on 
the head or in series along the body. 

Most are of a pale green or blue colour when caught (see 
coloured sketches 980 and 981), but they rapidly turn black; it 
is for this reason that the coloration of many of the models shown 
is blackish. Some deep-sea fishes are colourless and gelatinous in 
appearance (e. g. Aphyonus, 974). In those which are coloured 
the coloration is mostly uniform, without spots or bands, and without 
the belly being paler than the back and sides. A few are silvery 
(e. g. Lepidopus, 971). 

Many fishes obtained from great depths come to the surface in a 
damaged condition owing to the expansion of the gases in the 
tissues of the body when relieved from the great pressure to which 
they are subjected at the bottom of the sea. For this reason few 

Fig. 5. — A Deep-sea Fish, Muiacosteus mcKcus. 
(From Boulenger, Camb. Nat. Hist, vii, 1904, after Giintker.) 

are suitable for exhibition, and most of the specimens shown in 
Cabinet-case 44 are models, some of them enlarged, made to 
present as nearly as possible the appearance that the fishes would 
offer in their natural state. 

Most of the deep-sea fishes are known by a few specimens only, 
and, being rare, they have no popular names. 

Aulostomatomorpha (984) is a curious fish in. whichalmost the 
whole of the skin of the head is phosphorescent ; in Malacosteus 
(979, and fig. 5) there are two photophores or luminous organs 
situated below and behind the large eye ; in Ipnops (976) the eyes 
are wanting and the top of the broad, flat head is occupied by a 
pair of large photophores, which nearly touch one another in the 
middle line. 




Gastrostomies (985, fig. 6 a) and Saccopharynx (986, fig. 6 b) are 
related to the Eels ; they are predaceous fishes, with the eyes set 

Fig. 6. — Two Deep-sea Fishes allied to the Eels : a, Gastrostomies 
oairdi, and b, Saccopharynx Jlagellum. 

Fig. 7. — A Deep-sea Fish, Chiasmodon nigrum. 
(From Giinther, " Study of Fishes".) 

very far forward, and with a long tail tapering off to a thread. The 
former fish is remarkable for the enormous size of the mouth. 
Both are provided with a highly distensible stomach and abdominal 


wall, by virtue of which the shape of the fish is greatly changed 
after a good meal. In the case of Saccopharynx (986), for 
instance, the size of the abdomen is due to the fish having 
swallowed another fish of considerable size shortly before it was 
itself caught. A still more remarkable case is that of Chiasmodon 
(978, fig. 7), which prior to capture had devoured a fish larger 
than itself, and the shape of which was clearly discernible through 
the tightly stretched wall of the distended abdomen when the fish 
came to hand. 

Chauliodus (975, and fig. 8) is a fairly common deep-sea fish, 
chiefly remarkable for the great length of its teeth. Bathypterois 
(983) is a small-eyed fish presenting a great elongation of the 
uppermost ray of the pectoral fin and the foremost two rays of the 
pelvic fin ; these filamentous rays are doubtless used as " feelers." 
A similar function may be attributed to the rays of the paired fins 
of Paraliparis (973), a fish allied to the Sea-snails [Liparis, 836 
and 837, Wall-case 19) of the English coast. 

0gy "vgp 

Fig. 8. — A Deep-sea Fish, Chauliodus sloanii. 
(From Giinther, "Study of Fishes.") 

Dolopichthys (972) is a fish belonging to the Ceratiidse, a deep- 
sea family related to the Angler-fishes. The " lure," which serves 
as a bait to induce the prey to come within reach of the jaws, and 
which is suspended from the end of a long fin-ray of the dorsal 
fin, is in Dolopichthys a luminous structure. 

The fishes represented in Cabinet-case 44 are only the most 
striking and exceptional of the deep-sea fishes. Those less modified 
are shown in the systematic series in the Wall-cases. 



Following Cabinet-case 44, in a series along the side of 
the Gallery, are four Table-cases (45-48) with a skeleton of 
the Porbeagle Shark, Lamna cornubica (see the specimen in the 
upper part of Wall-case 1, see also page 32) ; a Jew-fish, Stereo- 
lepis gigas, a Sea-perch allied to the large specimen in Table- 
case 40 in a corresponding position on the other side of the 
Gallery; a Southern Meagre, Scicena antarctica, and a skeleton 
of the Common Meagre, Scicena aquila (family Sciaenidse, Wall- 
case 13 ; see also page 151) ; and another form of Meagre, Scicena 
diacanthus, from the estuaries of Bengal. 

Systematic Series in the Wall-cases. 

In Wall-case 1, in the S.W. corner of the Gallery are exhibited 
the more primitive of the Sharks and Dog-fishes ; the series of 
Sharks and Dog-fishes is continued in Wall-case 2 and ends with 
the Monk-fish and Pristiophorus. In Wall-cases 3 and 4 are 
shown the Saw-fishes, Skates and Rays, and in the lower part of 
Wall-case 4 reference is made to the extinct Pleuracanthodian 
Sharks, Wall-case 5 is devoted to the Hoiocephali and Ostra- 
codermi. The Dipnoi or Lung-fishes occupy the first part of 
Wall-case 6, the Stylopterygii or Fringe-finned fishes, and the 
Sturgeons and Gar-pikes fill up the rest of the case. In Wall- 
case 7 are the Amioid fishes and their extinct relatives, also the 
lower Teleostean fishes, the Herring-like and Salmon-like fishes. 
Wall-case 8 contains the Carps and their allies, and, on the 
floor, the Eels ; the Cat-fishes occupy the corner case (9) and a 
part of Wall-case 10, the rest of which is filled by the Pikes, 
Sticklebacks, Sea-horses, Pipe-fishes, &c. 

In Wall-case 11 are shown the Grey Mullets, Flying-fishes, and 
Barracudas, and the Cod-like fishes. In the corner case (12) 
begins the great series of fishes with spiny fin-rays in the dorsal, 
anal and pelvic fins (Acanthopterygian fishes), a series which 
continues along the whole of the East side of the Gallery up to 
Wall-case 19. The first fishes of the series are the Berycoid 


fishes, in Wall-case 12, together with the Archer-fish and the 
Perch, and in Wall-case 13 there follow the Sea-perches, 
Basses and Meagres. The Snappers, Sea-Breams, Red Mullets 
and Chietodont fishes are shown in Wall-case 14, and the 
Surgeon-fishes, Parrot-fishes, Wrasses and Mackerel-like fishes 
in Wall-case 15. 

The small Wall-case 16 is devoted to the Horse-Mackerels, and 
Wall-case 17 to the Frost-fishes and Dolphin-fishes. Wall- 
case 18 includes the Dorys, the Flat-fishes, such as the Sole, Plaice 
and Turbot, and the Sucking-fishes and Gobies. In the upper 
part of Wall-case 19 are exhibited life-sized coloured drawings of 
the Ribbon-fishes, and in other parts of the case are specimens of 
Gurnards, Lump-suckers and Blennies. The systematic series 
ends with Wall-case 20, which contains the Angler-fishes (on the 
floor), the File-fishes, Globe-fishes and Sun-fishes. 

ELASMOBRANCHII (Sharks and Rays). 

The Elasmobranchii, including the Sharks, Dog-fishes, Saw- 
fishes, Skates and Rays, are marine fishes with a skeleton composed 
of cartilage, the surface of which is usually calcified, but does not 
exhibit the characters of true bone. The skin possesses tooth-like 
structures called placoid spines, which when closely set constitute 
shagreen. The vertebral column is in most instances continued 
into the upper part of the tail fin, and the lower lobe is small as 
compared with the upper ; such a tail is known as (i heterocercal." 
The fins are supported by closely-set rods and plates of cartilage 
in the basal parts, and by horny fin-rays in the marginal parts 
(see specimen 3). There is no gill-cover, and, with a few ex- 
ceptions, five gill-slits open on each side of the body. The heart 
has a chamber known as the conus arteriosus, which is provided 
with watch-pocket valves that prevent the return of blood to the 
ventricle (see dissection 2). The intestine has a spiral valve (see 
dissection 1) and there is no swim-bladder. The ova or egg-cells 
are large, and undergo their development either within the body of 



the mother or within horny egg-shells (see specimens 7, 4, 5, 6 and 
fig. 9). In the scheme of classification adopted in this Gallery 

Fig. 9. — Egg of a Dog-fish of the genus Scyllium. 
(From Giinther, " Study of Fishes.") 

(see pp. 200-201) the Elasmobranchii are divided into four orders, 
Proselachii, Acanthodides. Selachii, and Pleuracanthodes. 

PROSELACHII (Primeval Sharks). 

The Proselachii or Pleuropterygii are extinct Sharks, the most 
primitive as well as the most ancient of the Elasmobranchii. The 
only genus of which the general structure is at all well known is 
Cladoselache (fig. 10), but detached teeth resembling those of 
Cladoselache have long been known in the Carboniferous formations 
under the name of Cladodus (see tooth of Cladodus striatus, 10). 
The gill-slits are five or more in number • the upper and lower jaws 
are approximately equal in size and are suspended from the 
cranium by the hyomandibular cartilage. The dorsal and the 
paired fins are supported by parallel fin-rays of calcified cartilage 
which extend nearly to the margin of the fin. Dermal fin-rays 
have been described in the posterior edge of the fin, but the 
evidence of their presence is unsatisfactory (see pectoral fin, 8) . 
The length of these Sharks varies between two and six feet. 

The remains of Cladoselache fyleri, found in the Cleveland 
Shale (Upper Devonian or Lower Carboniferous) of Ohio, are 
sufficient to show that the form of the body was rounded and 



elongated (see fig. 10, and the enlarged drawing 9 at the top of 
Wall-case 1). Two dorsal fins are present, but no anal fin. 
The caudal portion of the vertebral axis is strongly upturned, and 
distinctly hinged upon the rest of the vertebral column, but the 
outline of the tail is symmetrical about a horizontal plane. A 

Fig. 10. — An extinct and archaic Shark, Cladoselache fyleri, 

side and ventral views, restored. 
(From Bridge, Camb. Nat. Hist., vii, 1904, after B. Dean.) 

short dermal expansion forms a horizontal keel on each side of the 
base of the tail. No calcifications are recognisable in the sheath 
of the notochord ; the skeletal cartilages are calcified in the form 
of cubes, closely fitting like a mosaic. The teeth are of various 
forms, each with a principal cusp and a variable number of lateral 
cusps. The eye has a ring of small dermal plates; the remainder 
of the body is covered with minute denticles. 

ACANTHODIDES (Acanthodian Sharks). 

The Acanthodian fishes are Palteozoic Sharks of small size, Climatius. 
rarely exceeding one foot in length. The restoration of Climatius 
shown (11) is about four times the natural size (linear). The 


placoids of the skin are flatten ed and closely fitted together. The 
calcifications of the cranium, jaws, and pectoral girdle present the 
appearance of membrane bones, although bone cells are wanting. 
The fins, both paired and median (except the caudal), bear each a 
stout spine along the front edge, and in some cases there occur 
between the pectoral and pelvic fin of each side a row of four or five 
spines of a similar nature (see 11, and fig. 11). The cartilaginous 
supports of the fins must have been insignificant, and the fin- 
membranes but feebly supported by dermal fin-rays. The earlier 
forms, those of the Upper Silurian and Lower Devonian, are 
included in the family Diplacanthidse (e. g. Diplacanthus and Cli- 
mat'ius) ; these have two dorsal fins. The family Acanthodidse (e. g. 
Acanthodes) includes the later forms, those ranging from the Lower 
Devonian to the Lower Permian, which have but a single dorsal 
fin, and pelvic fins of smaller size than the pectorals. In Cli- 
matius (11) the fin-spines are remarkably broad, and are marked 
with coarse longitudinal ridges. The most perfect specimens 
known are about seven inches in length, but fragments have been 
found of specimens which must have measured eighteen inches or 
more when complete. 

SELACHII (Modern Sharks and Rays). 

The order Selachii includes all the modern Sharks and Rays, 
and a number of extinct forms as well. The great majority of the 
Selachii are marine, but a few species live in fresh water. The 
denticles of the skin are closely set to form shagreen, but in the 
Rays there is a tendency for the spines to become fewer and 
larger. The calcifications on the surface of the cartilages do not 
resemble membrane bones, and have not the microscopic structure 
of true bone. The basal cartilages of the pectoral fin, namely, 
those in contact with the pectoral girdle, are usually three in 
number, less commonly two ; there is no long segmented axis to 
the fin. With a few exceptions the vertebral centra are well 
calcified, but the form of the calcified layers varies considerably 
(compare specimens 20, 28, 65, 80, 85, 90, 113 in Wall-cases 1-4). 
The Selachii range back to Carboniferous and Permian times. The 
suborders recognised are : — Notidani, Squali, and Raii. 






Notidani (Notidanid Sharks). 

The Notidani constitute a small suborder 
of archaic Sharks in which the gill-openings 
are six or seven on each side of the body. 
The vertebral column is imperfectly segmented, 
and the centra are feebly if at all calcified ; 
there is but a single dorsal fin, which is - set 
rather far back, opposite the anal fin. There 
is no nictitating membrane or third eyelid, 
such as occurs in some Sharks (e. g. 67, 
Wall-case 2). There are two families, the 
Chlamydoselachidae and the Notidanidse. 

The family Chlamydoselachidae includes but 
a single genus, Chlamydoselachus, a long, 
slender-bodied Shark (specimen 12, and 
fig. 12) found in the deep seas of many 
parts of the world, and first obtained off the 
coast of Japan in 1884. The head is depressed, 
and the mouth is terminal. There are six pairs 
of gill-openings, with backwardly directed frills 
or flaps of skin, whence the popular name 
"Frilled Shark" given to this fish. The 
skull is hyostylic, i. e. the jaws are suspended 
from the cranium by means of the upper 
element of the hyoid arch (for illustration of 
" hyostylic " see specimen 18). The teeth 
are of primitive character and several rows 
are simultaneously in use ; the crown consists 
of three slender curved cusps, separated by a 
pair of small denticles ; the embedded bases 
are broad and backwardly extended, and 
overlap one another in the gum. 

In the Notidanidse the skull differs from that 
of the previous family in being " amphistylic," 
i. e. the jaws are connected with the cranium 
or brain-case in two ways, by a direct articu- 
lation between the upper jaw and the optic 
region of the cranium, and by means of the 
hyomandibular cartilage, or upper piece of the 



hyoid arch, which is much more slender than is usual in Sharks (see 

skull of Notidanus, 13, and compare with the hyostylic skull of 

Scyllium, 18). The mouth is inferior; the gill-clefts are six in 

number on each side in Hexanchus 

and seven in Heptanchus ; there are 

no flaps or frills over the gill-clefts. 

The teeth have a characteristic form 

(see 15, and fig. 13), and in the 

it io m^"T~~7^-7 lower iaw only one row of them is in 

-blG. 13. — Tooth of i\ otidanus J . 

gigas. use at a time. The principal teeth in 

their most perfect development pos- 
sess a number of backwardly-sloping compressed cusps arising 
from a long base; the anterior edge of the first cusp is finely 
serrated. The teeth at the front of the upper jaw are smaller, 
and have each a single awl-shaped cusp with one or more small 
lateral cusps. The teeth of Notidanus are found in rocks as old as 
the Jurassic ; examples are shown (16 a and b) of fossil teeth of 
Tertiary age. The Notidanid Sharks attain to a length of fifteen 
feet, and are distributed over the tropical and sub-tropical seas. 
In Wall-case 1 is shown a small specimen of the Perlon or Seven- 
gilled Shark, Notidanus (Heptanchus) indicus, 14, and suspended 
from the rail in front of the case is a Grey Shark, or Six-gilled 
Shark, Notidanus (Hexanchus) griseus, 1141, caught off the 
Orkney Isles. 

Squali (Sharks and Dog-fishes). 

In the suborder Squali are included all the Sharks and Dog- 
fishes except the few embraced in the former suborder, the 
Notidani. There are two dorsal fins instead of one and the gill- 
clefts are five in number on each side. These fishes differ from 
those of the following suborder, the Kaii (Wall-case 3), in the 
gill-clefts being laterally placed, and in the body being of the 
usual Shark type, without any great enlargement of the pectoral 
fins or flattening of the body. The Rhinida3 show a tendency to 
modification in these directions, although they do not necessarily 
lead on to the Rays. It is convenient to divide the suborder into 
two groups, which may be designated Group A and Group B. 


In the fishes of Group A an anal fin is present between the 
cloaca and the tail fin, and there is a tendency for the spiracle to 
become reduced in size. The vertebral centra are astero-spondylic, 
i. e. if viewed in transverse section they are seen to be strengthened 
by calcified ridges or radiating laminae which predominate over the 
concentrically disposed laminae (compare the asterospondylic 
vertebras of Cestracion (20) and Scyllium (28) with the tecto- 
spondylic vertebras of Rhina (90, Wall-case 2). Group A 

Fig. 14. — Upper jaw of Port Jackson Shark, Cestracion p/nlippi. 
(From Giinther, " Study of Fishes.") 

includes the families Cestraciontidae, Cochliodontidae, Scylliidae, 
Lamnidae, Rhinodontidae, and Carchariidae. 
Port In the family Cestraciontidae, the best-known example of which 

Shark * s tfte ^ ov ^ Jackson Shark (24), each of the two dorsal fins is 
armed with a stout spine (see spine, 24 a), and the first dorsal fin 
is opposite the space between the pectoral and pelvic fins. The 
nasal and buccal cavities are confluent ; there is no nictitating 
membrane ; the teeth, except those at the front of the mouth, are 
blunt, and adapted for crushing the shells of molluscs and 
crustaceans (see jaws, 19, and fig. 14). Sharks of this family 



existed in Carboniferous times and were more numerous in 
Palaeozoic and Mesozoic periods than at the present day. 

In Cestracion the mouth is rather narrow and nearly terminal. 
The spiracle is small and situated below the posterior part of the 
eye; the gill openings are rather small. The dorsal fin-spines 
are smooth and with no posterior serrations such as occur in 
Hybodus (see spine, 21, and fig. 15). The jaws are suspended by 
the hyomandibular cartilage, but the upper jaw 
also enters into extensive articulation with the 
ethmoid region of the cranium (see skull of 
Cestracion galeatus, 17; the more usual type 
of hyostylic skull found in Sharks is illustrated 
by a skull of Scyllium, 18). The vertebral 
centra of Cestracion are asterospondylic (see 
20), but the radiating arrangement of the 
secondary lamina? of calcareous matter does 
not occur in the more ancient genera of the 
family, e. g. Hybodus and Palceospinax. The 
egg-shell of Cestracion has a curious spiral 
flange projecting from its surface (see 6). 

The species of Cestracion occur in the seas 

of Australia, Japan, California, &c. The 

specimen 24 shown in Wall-case 1 is a small 

example of the Port Jackson Shark ; a larger 

specimen (four feet long) is shown in the 

Table-case 23, in the centre line of the 

Gallery ; a full-sized individual is about five 

feet long. For comparison with the teeth 

of Cestracion (19) are shown the teeth of the 

extinct Acrodus (22) and Asteracanthus (23). 

The Sharks of the family Cochliodontida? 

flourished in Carboniferous times, and their 

remains are practically confined to the rocks of 

that age. The dentition differs from that of 

the Cestraciontidse in one or more of the 

transverse series of teeth being fused into a continuous curved 

plate. Whereas in Cestracion the reserve members of the series 

of crushing teeth arise as separate teeth on the lingual or inner 

Fig. 15. — Dorsal fin- 
spine of Hybodus. 
(From Giinther, 
"Study of Fishes.") 



side of those in use, in Cochliodus the teeth are coalesced into a 
continuous plate, which receives additions to its lingual border 
and slowly moves outward and forward in a spiral manner over 
the surface of the jaw. Two views are given of the dental scroll 
of Cochliodus, 25 and 26 (see also fig. 16). 

In the family Scylliidse the dorsal fins have no spines ; the 
first is situated above or behind the pelvic fins, The spiracle is 
distinct; there is no nictitating membrane. The teeth are small 
and several series are in use at the same 
time. The nasal and buccal cavities are 
more or less confluent ; the fourth and fifth 
gill-slits are close together in the genera 
Chiloscyllium, Crossorhinus, Ginglymos- 
toma, and Stegostoma, but not in Scy Ilium. 

Dog- The common Dog-fish of the South coast 

fishes o tti i j ■ a it 7 nn mi Fig. 16. — Jaw with tooth- 

of England is bey Ilium canicula, 30. Ihe lx , „',,., 

° f plates of Cochliodus 

term " Dog-fish is applied loosely to any contort™. 
small Shark-like fish, the difference between (From Giinther, "Study 
a Dog-fish and a Shark being one of size of Fishes.") 

only*". The Dog-fishes found around 

the British coast include the one just mentioned, Scy Ilium 
canicula, 30, the Smaller Spotted Dog-fish ; the Larger Spotted 
Dog-fish or Nurse Hound, Scyllium catulus, 27 ; and the following 
three which do not belong to the family at present under considera- 
tion, the Piked Dog-fish, Acanthias vulgaris (75, in Wall-case 2), a 
Dog-fish which on the East coast is more common than the Spotted 
Dog-fish ; the Smooth Hound, Mustelus vulgaris (68, Wall-case 2), 
and the Tope, Galeus canis (64, Wall-case 2). The commonest of 
these are the Smaller Spotted Dog-fish and the Piked Dog-fish, 
which in some parts of the coast are sufficiently plentiful to prove 
troublesome to fishermen by taking the bait intended for more 
valuable fish. 

Spotted The Spotted Dog-fishes are ground feeders and live mostly 

Dog-fish, on crustaceans and molluscs, and they keep fairly close to the land. 
On some parts of the coast these Dog-fishes are eaten, but the flesh 
is not in great favour. The smaller Dog-fish is distinguished from 

* This does not apply to extinct forms. Acanthodian fishes, for instance, 
rarely exceed a foot in length, but it is customary to speak of them as 
" Sharks." 


the larger, not only by its smaller size, but by its anal fin being 
situated farther forward as compared with the second dorsal fin, 
and the right and left nasal flaps are nearly continuous in front of 
the mouth, whereas in Scyllium catulus they are some distance 
apart. These Dog-fishes lay pillow-shaped eggs with a flexible 
yellow-brown or black egg-shell, the four corners of which are 
produced into tendril-like threads which serve to anchor the egg to 
sea-weed and rocks (see specimen 4 in the introductory series 
below the label "Elasmobranchii"). Two eggs are laid at a 
time, and five or six months elapse before the embryo fish hatches 

The Black-mouthed Dog-fish, Pristiurus melanostomus, 31, is a 
small Dog-fish common in the Mediterranean and occasionally 
caught iu British seas ; it has a series of small flat spines on each 
side of the upper edge of the tail fin. The genus Ginglymostoma 
includes Sharks some of which grow to twelve feet in length, with 
small eyes and minute spiracles ; they are of pelagic habit and 
occur in the warmer parts of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. 
The specimen of Ginglymostoma brevicaudatum shown (33) is 
small, the jaws of the same species (34) give an idea of the size to 
which the fish grows. A specimen of Ginglymostoma cirrhatum 
(36) is shown on the floor of the case, and another specimen hangs 
from the rail opposite Wall-case 2. 

In Chiloscyllium (e. g. Chiloscyllium indicum, 35) the anal fin 
is far behind the second dorsal, and is almost continuous with the 
caudal fin ; the genus includes several species of small Dog-fishes 
occurring in the Indian Ocean and adjacent seas. Stegostoma 
resembles Chiloscyllium in the backward situation of the anal fin, 
but the spiracle is behind the eye instead of below it ; the eye is 
very small, the snout very blunt, and the upper lip thick. The 
Zebra Shark, Stegostoma tigrinum, is one of the commonest Zebra 
Sharks of the Indian Ocean. In the young (e. g. 38) the tail fin Shark, 
is proportionately much larger than iu the adult (37), and the 
colour-markings are more pronounced. This last feature is not 
uncommon in Elasmobranch fishes, the young of many Dog-fishes, 
Sharks, and Rays being brightly banded or spotted, whereas the 
adults are of a uniform and dull coloration. Crossor°hinus (39) 
has a broad, flat head with blunt snout and lateral projections of 
skin ; the mouth is wide and nearly terminal ; the eye is small and 


the spiracle is a wide slit behind the eye. These fishes are 
ground Sharks occurring off the coasts of Japan, Australia, &c, 
and attaining a length of ten feet. 

In the Lamnid Sharks (family Lamnidre) the dorsal fins are 
without spines, and the first is situated opposite to the space 
between the pectoral and pelvic fins. There is no nictitating 
membrane ; the gill openings are generally large ; the spiracle is 
minute or absent. The teeth are large and cuspidate and the 
bases are compressed antero-posteriorly, and thus differ from the 

Fig. 17. — Porbeagle Shark, Lamna cornubica. 

stout depressed bases of the teeth in the more ancient Sharks, such 
as those already considered. The teeth are solid when completely 
formed. The Lamnid Sharks attain to a large size and are 
pelagic in habit. 
Por- The Porbeagle Shark, Lamna cornubica (fig. 17) grows to ten 

beagle. f eet j n i en gth an( j i s occasionally caught off the British coasts ; 
the specimen which hangs from the top of Wall-case 1 (specimen 
40) was caught at Skye. The Mackerel Shark, Lamna spallanzanii, 
differs bat little from the Porbeagle; the jaws of this Shark are 
exhibited (41), and a cast of a specimen caught on the Atlantic 
coast of North America is shown on Table 25 in the middle of the 
other end of the Gallery. The teeth are large and lanceolate and 
serve merely for seizing the fishes upon which these Sharks prey. 
Great J n Carcharodon the teeth are large, erect, triangular and 

Shark, serrated along the edge (see jaws 44). The most formidable of 
modern Sliarks belong to the genus Carcharodon. A Great Blue 
Shark or Man-eater Shark, Carcharodon rondeletii, is shown on 
Table 25 at the other end of the Gallery, also the jaws of a 
much larger specimen, similar to the jaws in Wall-Case 1. The 
Great Blue Shark is known to grow to forty feet in length ; 



some of the extinct species of Carcharodon must have been vastly 
larger, judging by the great size of the teeth (e. g. 43) that are 
found in Eocene, Miocene, and Pliocene strata. 

The Thresher or Fox Shark, Alopecias vulpes (1 139, hanging from Thresher. 

Fig. 18. — Thresher Shark, Alopecias 

the rail opposite Wall-Case 3, and fig. 18), has an extremely long 
tail fin, and has not the paired longitudinal keel at the side of the 
tail that is present in the Sharks of the two preceding genera. 
The Thresher is common on the British coasts ; it feeds on 
Herrings, Pilchards, and Sprats, and attains to a length of fifteen 
feet, one half of which is taken up by the tail. 

In the genus Odontaspis (46, and specimen 1123, hanging from 

the rail opposite Wall-case 20) the second dorsal fin and the anal 

fin are not so reduced in size as they are in the genera Lamn,a, 

Carcharodon and Alopecias, and there is no tip on 

A the upper surface of the root of the tail. The teeth are 
long and lanceolate, with one or two small cusps at the 
base of the main cusp (see jaws 47, and fig. 19). 
The Elfin Shark, Mitsuhurina owstoni, is closely 
allied to Odontaspis, but diners in the shape of the 
snout, which projects beyond the jaws to a considerable 
extent (see 1124, hanging from the rail opposite Wall- 
case 19). It is even more closely allied to the extinct 
Scapanorhynchus of the Upper Cretaceous strata of 
Syria. The Elfin Shark is a deep-sea Shark first 
caught in the year 1898 in the seas of Japan. The 
tail is longer than that of Odontaspis and is nearly in a line 
with the body. The Shark grows to about twelve feet in length. 

The Basking Shark, Selache maxima or Cetorhinus maximus 
(see fig. 2, p. 8), is a great Shark growing to 33 feet or more, 
and widely distributed in northern seas. In Wall-case 1 the Shark 


Fig. 19. 

Tooth of 






is represented by a sketch of a 28 foot specimen caught off the Isle 
of Wight in 1875, a photograph of a young specimen 1 1 feet long 
caught off Brighton in 1903, showing the disproportionately large 
snout characteristic of young specimens, and a piece of skin 
prepared to show the manner in which the small, pointed denticles 
are arranged in patches or groups. Hanging from the roof is a 
specimen of the Basking Shark, 28 feet long, caught ofF Bergen in 
1904, and below it on the floor is a cast of the skeleton of a speci- 
men of the same size and from the same locality. Within the 
same enclosure are the head and pelvic fins of the Isle of Wight 
specimen mentioned above. For further information concerning 
these specimens see page 9. 

Whale The family Ehinodontidse is a small one, including only the 

Whale Shark, Rhinodon typicus, of which a small specimen is 
shown suspended from the roof at the other end of the Gallery (see 
page 10 in the chapter on " Central Exhibits ") . A sketch of the 
Shark (52) is shown in Wall-case 1, also a piece of the dental 
ribbon (53). The Whale Shark is the largest Shark living at the 
present day, and attains a length of 50 or 60 feet. It is widely 
distributed and occurs mainly in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. 
The snout is flattened, the mouth nearly terminal, the gill-slits of 
moderate size, the first dorsal fin set above the pelvic fins, and the 
eyes and the teeth very small. The last gill-slit is above the base of 
the pectoral fin, whereas in the preceding family, the Lamnidae, 
it is in advance of the fin. 

Wall- The Sharks of the family Carchariidse have no spines in the 

dorsal fins, and the first dorsal fin is situated opposite to the space 
between the pectoral and pelvic fins. The mouth is crescent- 
shaped and inferior, and the eye is provided with a nictitating 
membrane or third eyelid which can be drawn over the exposed 
part of the eyeball (see 67). The teeth are usually large and 
cuspidate, and are hollow when completely formed (cf. Lamnidse). 
No remains of undoubted Carchariid Sharks occur in strata below 
the Eocene. In Carcharias itself the spiracle is absent ; there is 
a pit at the root of the caudal fin, which has a distinct lower lobe ; 
the teeth have a single sharp cusp, mostly compressed and 
triangular, and the upper teeth usually differ much from the 
lower. Most of the Sharks of this genus occur in tropical 




seas ; the average size is twelve or fifteen feet, but some species 
attain to a length of twenty-five feet. 

The common Blue Shark, so dangerous to persons bathing in 
•the tropics, is Carcharias glaucus. The genus is represented in 
the exhibited series by the White Shark, Carcharias lamia, 57 ; 
the Black-finned Shark, Carcharias melanopterus, 58 ; Carcharias 
menisorrah, 60 ; the jaws of Carcharias acutidens, 61, and 
Carcharias dussumieri, 59 ; and a specimen of Carcharias 
hemiodon, 1125, suspended from the rail opposite Wall-case 18. 
In some parts of India and China Shark's fins are used for making 
soup, the fins being mostly those of Carchariid Sharks. They are 
sold in the form in which they are exhibited (specimen 70). The 
trade in Shark's fins is less now than formerly; in the year 1845 
over four hundred tons of them were exported from Bombay to 

In the genus Galeocerdo the spiracle is minute ; there are 
pits at the root of the caudal fin, one above and one below. 
In the terminal lobe of the caudal fin there is a notch, situated 

Fig. 20. 

■Galeocerdo arcticus, a Shark of* wide distribution. 
Also a single tooth of the same Shark. 

at the point where the vertebral column ends, which is not 
present in the other genera of the family. The teeth are subequal 
in the upper and lower jaws ; they are oblique, serrated on both 
margins, and have a deep notch on the outer or posterior margin 
(see teeth 63 and fig. 20). A small specimen of the Tiger Shark, 
Galeocerdo tigrinus, 62, is shown ; hanging from the rail opposite 







Group B 



Wall-case 17 is a fairly large specimen of Galeocerdo rayneri (1127) 
from the Indian Ocean, also the jaws of another specimen (1126). 

The Tope, Galeus canis, 64, is a fish not uncommon on the 
British coasts, and widely distributed in tropical and temperate 
seas. It is a bottom-feeder, with a fairly long snout ; the spiracle 
is minute, and there is no pit at the root of the tail. The jaws of 
the Tope are exhibited (66) and the calcified parts of the vertebral 
centra showing the cruciform pattern of the secondary calcification 
(65). The Smooth Hound, Mustelus vulgaris, 68, differs from 
the Tope in having closely set, flattened teeth, arranged like a 
pavement (see jaws 69). It is a fish commonly found in British 
seas ; the species Mustelus laevis is occasionally met with also, but 
it has a more southern distribution than Mustelus vulgaris. 

The Hammer-head Shark, Zygoma malleus, is a strange-looking 
Shark in which the anterior part of the head is broad, flattened, 
and laterally elongated ; the eyes are situated at the extremities of 
the lobes, and the nostrils occur just beneath the front edge ; the 
spiracle is absent ; the teeth are similar in the upper and lower 
jaws, they are oblique and have a posterior notch and margins 
smooth or serrated. The Hammer-head Sharks are found in most 
temperate and tropical seas. The specimen 71 on the floor of 
Wall-case 2 is a small one ; a larger example (1129) hangs from 
the rail opposite Wall-case 16 ; the jaws of a Hammer-head (1128) 
are shown near the latter specimen. 

In the fishes of Group B of the suborder Squali the spiracles 
are large, and the anal fin wanting. The line of the closed mouth 
is nearly straight, and not crescentic as is so commonly the case 
in the fishes of Group A. The calcification of the vertebral centra 
either takes the form of primitive hollow double-cones immediately 
surrounding the remnants of the notochord, or there are concentric 
secondary laminae in addition. This group includes the families 
Spinacidae, Petalodontidae, Pristodontidae, Rhinidse and Pristio- 

The family Spinacidae includes fishes, some of which, like 
Spinax, 79, and Acanthias, 75, are slender and shapely, while 
others, such as Centrina, 83, and Echinorhinus, 86, are bulky and 
clumsy in appearance. The dorsal fins are provided with spines in 
some genera (e. g. Centrina, Acanthias) , but not in others (e. g. 
Scymnus, Echinorhinus) . The body is rounded or triangular in- 


section ; the mouth is gently arched and the snout obtuse. The 
pectoral fins are not notched at their bases, and are not produced 
forward. There is no nictitating membrane ; the gill-slits are 
small and lateral in position. Remains of Sharks of the family 
Spinacidae are not found in strata below the Upper Cretaceous. 

Valentin's Sea-hound, Sajmnus lichia, 73, is a fish common in 
the Mediterranean and on the coast of Portugal, and occasionally 
met with in the English Channel. The dorsal fins have no spines 
and the first is set well in advance of the pelvic fins. The upper 
teeth are small and pointed ; the lower teeth are much larger than 
the upper teeth (see jaws 74), they are broad and compressed, 
triangular and erect, but slightly sloping in the young. 

The Piked Dog-fish or Spiny Dog-fish, Acanthias vulgaris, 75, Piked 
has a spine in the anterior edge of each of the dorsal fins (see spines ° 
76). The teeth are similar in the upper and lower jaws ; they are 
rather small, triangular, and compressed, with the apex much 
turned aside, so that the inner margin of the tooth forms a 
cutting edge (see jaws 78). Although the tail fin is not 
symmetrical above and below the middle line the vertebral column 
is not uptilted (see tail 77) . The Piked Dog-fish has a remarkable 
distribution, being found in the temperate seas of the northern and 
southern hemispheres, but not in the intermediate tropical region. 
It is one of the commonest Dog-fishes around the British coast, and 
causes much trouble to fishermen by cutting their lines and carry- 
ing away the hooks. 

The Black Dog-fish, Spinax niger, 79, is a small Dog-fish found 
in most European seas, and common off Portugal and in the 
Mediterranean. This fish is apparently not black when alive ; 
freshly taken specimens are very pale in colour (see sketch 98, in 
Oabinet-case 44, Deep-sea Fishes) . The centra (see 80 in Wall- 
case 2) possess no secondary calcifications, but only the primitive 
double-cone calcification immediately surrounding the constricted 
notochord. This type of vertebra is termed ' cyclospondylic/ and 
is characteristic, among modern fishes, of the Spinacidae, although 
it occurs in the more primitive extinct members of other families, 
e. g. in the Liassic genus Palaospinax, supposed to belong to the 
family Cestraciontidse. 

The genus Centrophurus includes deep-sea Sharks growing to 
about five feet in length. Most of them are caught off the coasts 







of Portugal and Madeira. Each dorsal fin is provided with a 
spine, which, however, is sometimes so small as to be hidden below 
the skin. The mouth is wide ; the lower teeth have the points 
inclined outward ; the upper teeth are erect and triangular, or 
narrow and lanceolate, with a single cusp (see jaws 82). In 
Centrina (83) the trunk is rather elevated, triangular in section, 
with a thick fold of the skin extending along each side of the 
ventral surface. Each dorsal fin is provided with a strong spine, 
which is largely concealed in the substance of the fin. The teeth 
of the lower jaw are erect, triangular, and finely serrated ; those o£ 
the upper jaw are slender and conical, and form a group at the 
front of the jaw (see jaws 84) . 

The Spinous Shark, Eckinorhinus spinosus, 86, has a short 
bulky body and a short tail. The dorsal fins are small and have 
no spines ; the first dorsal is opposite to the pelvic fins. The 
teeth are equal in the upper and lower jaws ; they are very oblique, 
the point being turned outward, and having one, two or three 
horizontally directed denticulations on each side. Embedded in 
the skin are scattered, flat, circular tubercles, each with a small 
central spine. The nostrils are midway between the mouth and 
the end of the snout ; the spiracle is small. The Shark lives 
mostly in deep water; it occurs in the Mediterranean and the 
Eastern Atlantic. 

In the Greenland Shark, Lcemargus borealis (sketch 87 and 
specimen 1138 hanging from the rail in front of Wall-case 4) all 
the fins are small ; the dorsal fins are without spines, and the first 
is set at a considerable distance in advance of the pelvic fins. The 
nostrils are near the extremity of the snout; the jaws are feeble; 
the shagreen is uniform. The upper teeth are small, narrow, and 
conical ; the lower teeth are numerous, each with the point so 
much turned aside that the inner margin forms a cutting edge. 
The Greenland Shark is an inhabitant of the Arctic regions and 
grows to a length of fifteen feet. Although harmless to man it 
attacks Whales and bites pieces out of their sides. 

The Angel-fish or Monk-fish, Rhina squatina, 88, is the sole 
living species of the family Rhinidae ; the genus is represented 
in the Lithographic Stone (Upper Jurassic) of Bavaria, where 
complete skeletons occur. The mouth is anterior and the gill- 
openings wide and lateral in position. The depression of the body 


and the large size of the pectoral fins, and the forward production 
of their bases towards (but not reaching) the head, suggest an 
approach to the members of the next suborder, the Raii, although 
the indication is probably fallacious. The dorsal fins are without 
spines, and are set upon the tail part of the body. Small 
tubercles occur embedded in the skin ; the teeth are conical and 
pointed (see jaws 91) ; the vertebrae (see vertebrae 90) are tecto- 
spondylic, this term signifying that of the secondary calcified 
laminae on the outside of the primary double-cone calcification 
immediately around the constricted notochord, the concentric 
laminae preponderate over the radiating laminae. In the Angel- 
fish the concentric lamina? are very numerous and closely set ; in 
the extinct species they are less numerous. This type of vertebra 
occurs also in the Saw-fishes and Rays, though in a less pronounced 
form (see vertebra of Rata, 113, Wall-case 3). The Angel-fish 
grows to a length of five feet^ and is wide-spread throughout the 
tropical and temperate seas. 

The Petalodontidae (represented by teeth of Petalodus, 92, and 
Polyrhizodus, 93) are extinct fishes, allied to the Angel-fish, which 
flourished in Carboniferous and Permian times. The body was 
moderately depressed, the pectoral fins large and continued 
forward towards the head. The teeth were compressed antero- 
posterior^, and formed a close pavement over the surface of the 

In Pristiophorus, 94, the sole genus of the family Pristiophoridae, Pristio- 
the elongation of the snout to form a rostrum, and the presence of 
teeth along its edges, suggest an affinity with the Pristidae or Saw- 
fishes, the first family of the next suborder, but the body is 
scarcely depressed, the gill- slits are lateral in position, the pectoral 
fins are of moderate size, and their bases show no tendency to 
spread towards the head. On the other hand, the enlargement of 
the prepalatine cartilages of the skull which is observed in the 
Pristiophoridae is a feature which in the Rays is definitely 
associated with the extension of the front of the pectoral fin around 
the edge of the head. A pair of long barbels occur on the under- 
side of the 'saw/ The teeth of the mouth are small, with a 
conical cusp on a broad base. These fishes occur in the seas of 
Japan and Australia, and attain to no great size. 


Raii (Saw-fishes and Rays). 

Wall- T ne suborder Raii or Batoidei includes the Saw-fishes, Skates, 

' and Rays. The form of the body is adapted for living on the sea- 
bottom ; the pectoral fins are enlarged, and their front edges 
encroach round the sides of the head ; the tail and median fins are 
reduced, although these characters are less pronounced in the first 
two families — the Pristidse and Rhinobatidse — than in those that 
follow. In the more highly specialised forms the trunk, surrounded 
by the immensely developed pectoral fins, forms a broad, flat disc, 
of which the tail appears as a slender appendage (see Sting Rays, 
Wall-case 4). The cartilaginous rays of the fins are greatly 
developed and the dermal fin-rays reduced or absent. The eyes 
and spiracles are on the upper surface of the body, and the five 
pairs of gill openings on the under surface (see Raia, 112). The 
upper surface is pigmented, the lower pale. The Rays lead a 
sedentary life at the bottom of the sea and subsist on molluscs, 
crustaceans, and small fishes ; they keep fairly near the coast, only 
the Eagle Rays being found in the open ocean. Some species 
occur in fresh water. In the more highly specialised forms 
progression is effected by the gentle undulation of the long margin 
of the pectoral fin, and not by a flapping of the whole fin, nor by 
the lashing of the tail. The mouth opening is ventral, and very 
slightly if at all curved, and the jaws are correspondingly straight 
and transverse. The jaws are rounded in section, and several rows 
of teeth are in use at the same time (see jaws 103 and 116). In 
the highly specialised Eagle Rays the teeth are flattened plates 
adapted for crushing (see jaws 1.22 and 126). 

The Pristidse, or Saw-fishes, are distinguished by the remarkable 
prolongation of the rostrum of the skull, with its double ' saw ' of 
lateral teeth (see tig. 21). In other respects the Pristidse may be 
regarded as the least modified of the Batoidei or Raii ; they swim 
freely, and have a body which is long, slightly depressed, and 
passing gradually into the strong and muscular tail. Although 
the pectoral fins have grown forward so far as to turn the gill- 
clefts on to the ventral surface of the body they are not very 
greatly enlarged. The dorsal fins have no spines ; the first is 




Remains of 

opposite to the base of the pelvic fins, or nearly so. 
the genus Pristis are found in Eocene deposits. 

The Saw-fishes shown are Pristis cuspidatus, 100, in Wall- 
case 3, Pristis pectinatus, 1137, hanging from the rail opposite 
Wall-case 5, andja large Pristis perrotteti, 1120, hanging from the 

Fig. 21.— Lower view of head of Saw-fish. 

roof between Wall-cases 2 and 19. Rostral saws of Pristis 
sagittatus, 99, and Pristis perrotteti, 98, are shown in Wall- 
case 3, and saws of Pristis zysron, 1142, and Pristis antiquorum, 
1143, on the wall between Wall-cases 2 and 3. Saw-fishes are 
found in tropical and to a less extent in subtropical seas. They 
attain to a considerable size, the ' saws ' of some species measuring 
six feet in length. The saw is a powerful weapon of attack and 
is used to rip up the body of some large fish or Whale ; the teeth 


of the jaws are minute and obtuse, and merely serve to seize the 
pieces of flesh left projecting from the body of the animal 

The endoskeleton of the rostral saw of the Saw-fish consists of 
a variable number (usually three) of long tapering tubes (see 
specimen 101), encrusted with granular calcifications similar to 
those found upon the other cartilages of the skull. One of these 
tubes, found detached, remained for a long time a puzzle to 
naturalists, and was even described in 1864 as the arm of a kind 
of Star-fish, to which the name Myriosteon higginsii was given. 
Rhino- In the Rhinobatidse, as in the Pristidae, the tail is long and 
a 1 3e ' powerful ; it is provided with two large dorsal fins, without spines, 
and has a longitudinal fold along each side. The caudal fin is well 
developed. The trunk is not greatly expanded and the head is 
not embraced by the pectoral fins. The family is represented 
by well-preserved skeletons in the Lithographic Stone (Upper 
Jurassic). Of the recent genera., Rhynchobatus and Rhinobatus are 
the most important. In Rhynchobatus djeddensis (104) the snout 
is narrower and more pointed than in Rhynchobatus ancylostomus 
(102), and the calcareous tubercles on the back are smaller ; the 
undulation of the toothed surface of the jaw is less marked 
(compare jaws 105 and 103). Rhinobatus (e. g. Rhinobatus granu- 
latus, 106) differs from Rhynchobatus in having the dorsal fins set 
farther back, and in the caudal fin having no lower lobe ; the front 
of the skull is produced into a rostrum, and the space between the 
side of the rostrum and the front part of the pectoral fin is filled 
by skin. The teeth are obtuse, with an indistinct transverse ridge 
(see jaws 107). Rhinobatus granulatus occurs in the Indian seas ; 
R. lentiginosus is common off Florida, where it is known as the 
Guitar-fish. Trygonorhina, 108, is an Australian genus. 
Skates In the Raiidae (Skates and Rays) the disc is broad, rhombic, 

^ and generally with dermal asperities or spines. The pectoral fins 

extend to the snout. The tail has a longitudinal fold on each side, 
and does not bear barbed spines such as occur in the Sting Rays 
(Wall-case 4). There is a rudimentary electric organ in the tail, 
In the Thorn back and some other species of Raia the teeth are 
pointed in the male, but blunt and flattened in the female (see 116 
and 1 17). The fishes of the genus Raia have a wide geographical 

RAYS. 43 

range, but are commonest in the temperate seas, and are more 
numerous in the northern than in the southern hemisphere. The 
British species are : — Thornback, Raia clavata, 109 ; Homelyn 
Ray, R. maculata ; Starry Ray, R. radiata ; Sandy Ray, R. circu- 
laris, 115 ; Common Skate, R. batis, 112 ; Burton Skate, 
R. marginata t^see specimen 10/9 on the floor beneath the tail of 
the skeleton of the Basking Shark, within the mahogany rail in 
the middle of the Gallery) ; Shagreen Ray, R. fullonica ; Flapper 
Skate, R. macrorhynchvs ; Sharp-nosed Skate, R. oxyrhynchus, 
111 ; Owl Ray, R. microcellata. Some of the Skates attain to a 
considerable size, the disc of large specimens measuring six or 
seven feet across. All of the species of Raia are marketable fish. 
The genus dates back to the Upper Cretaceous. 

The Thornback, Raia clavata, 109, has, in addition to the small 
asperities of the skin, large, curved spines, with very large 
embedded bases, arranged on the back and tail (see 110). The 
specimen of the Common Skate, Raia batis, 112, mounted to 
present its under surface, shows well the paleness of the skin as 
contrasted with the colouring of the skin of the upper surface 
(compare with the Sharp-nosed Skate, 111) ; it also shows the 
mouth as a transverse cleft, set at some distance from the front of 
the disc, and the five pairs of gill-slits arranged symmetrically 
near the middle of the under side of the disc. The eyes and 
spiracles of Skates are on the upper surface (see 111). The eggs 
of Skates are pillow-shaped, with a process at each of the four 
corners; in colour they are brown or black. Empty egg-shells 
are often to be seen on the beach after a storm (see 114). 

In the Myliobatidae, a family which includes the Eagle Rays and Eagle 
Sea-devils or Devil-fishes, the pectoral fins are of very large size ; ays * 
they are interrupted at the sides of the head, but reappear as either 
one or two small cephalic fins at the front of the snout. The tail 
is very slender; the cleft of the mouth is straight, and the 
dentition is in the form of a triturating mosaic-work or pavement, 
in some cases strongly arched in an antero-posterior direction. 
The various species of Dicerobatis, the Devil-fishes, are the largest Devil- 
of the Rays ; some specimens measure 15 feet across, and weigh ^ s ^- 
over 1000 lbs. A specimen of Dicerobatis eregoodoo measuring 
9 feet across is suspended from the roof between Wall-cases 6 and 




15 ; the young specimen 121 exhibited in Wall-case 3 shows 
equally well the great breadth of the pectoral fins, the pair of 
cephalic appendages pointiug forwards, and the slender tail. The 
Devil-fishes are mostly found in the tropics, but one species, the 
Ox Ray or Horned Ray, giorn/s, occurs in the 
Mediterranean and adjacent parts of the Atlantic. 

The Bishop Ray, Aetobatis narinari, is represented by a large 
specimen suspended from the roof between Wall-cases 5 and 16, 
and a pair of jaws (122) on the floor of Wall-case 3 ; the teeth are 
flat, broad, and in a single series running antero-posteriorly. In 
Rhinoptera the teeth are arranged in five or more series (123), 

Fig. 22. — Eagle-Ray, Myliobatis aquila. 

the middle series being the largest, except in young specimens. 
In the Eagle Ray, Myliobatis aquila (fig. 22), of which a 
specimen is shown (125), the teeth are arranged in seven series 
(126, and fig. 23) ; those of the three lateral rows are narrow, 
but the middle teeth are broad and increase in breadth as age 


advances. The condition found in Aetobatis (122), where there 
are no marginal teeth, thus marks but a further step in the same 
direction of specialisation. In the Devil-fish, on the other hand, 

Fig. 23. — Jaws of Eagle-Ray, Myliobatis aquila, seen from behind. 
(From Giinther, " Study of Fishes.") 

the teeth are numerous and small. In the extinct (Cretaceous) 
genus Ptychodus the teeth are quadrate in form, with an elevated 
crown sharply separated from the root (124 a and b). The crown 
has a series of transverse or radiating ridges, surrounded by a more 
finely corrugated marginal area. 

In the Torpedinidae. or Electric Rays (fig. 24, p. 46) the disc is Electric- 
broad, and the skin smooth and soft. The tail has a longitudinal > ay * 
fold on each side ; the caudal fin is present and usually two dorsal 
fins also. The skeleton of the pectoral fin is not continued 
forwards beyond the base of the snout. An electric organ capable 
of giving an electric shock is present between the head and the 
pectoral fin of each side. The organ (see 1.20) consists of closely- 
set hexagonal prisms, vertically disposed, and terminating against 
the skin of the upper and under surfaces of the body. The electric 
organ is supplied by branches of the fifth and tenth cranial nerves 
(trigeminus and vagus). The Torpedo occurs in the Mediterranean 
Sea and the Indian and Atlantic Oceans (e. g. Torpedo marmorata, 
119, and fig. 24) ; one species {Torpedo hebetans) is occasionally 
found off the coast of England (see specimen 1080 on the floor 
beneath the tail of the skeleton of the Basking Shark, within the 



mahogany rail in the middle of the Gallery). The maximum 
breadth attained by the Torpedo is about three feet, and a fish of 
this size can bv its electric discharge disable a man. 


case 4. 


JPtSrl „ 


mi? ma 


Fig. 24. — Electric Ray, Torpedo marmorata. 

The Sting Rays or Trygonidse (fig. 25) have the pectoral 
fins continued along the sides of the snout and confluent at its 
extremity. The tail is slender and sharply marked off from the 
disc, and has no lateral fold. The dorsal and caudal fins are 
absent, or are feebly developed. A strong spine, barbed along its 
sides, occurs on the upper part of the tail ; the spine is shed from 
time to time, and is replaced by a younger one which has been 
developing behind it. The tail-spine is used as a weapon of 
defence, and severe lacerated wounds can be inflicted by it. 
Similar spines are present in some of the Eagle Kays (family 
Myliobatidse, Wall-case 3 j see 125) . The Sting Rays are 
mainly inhabitants of tropical waters, but one species, Try g on 
pastinaca, 134, occurs off the British coast. Some of the American 



species are inhabitants of fresh water. The large specimen (130) 
in the middle of the case is Trygon sephen, from India ; near it 
are shown the tail-spine of Tnjgon walga (132), also from India, 
and the jaws of Trygon thalassia (131). Hanging from the side 


vvtzeZ^iy/y ■'.&: 

Fig. 25. — A Sting Ray, Trygon uarnak. 

rail at the other end of the Gallery, opposite Wall-cases 13 and 14, 
are two other Sting Kays, Trygon brevicaudata and Trygon 
tuberculata. Belonging also to the family are Urogymnus asper- 
rimus, 135, with densely crowded calcareous tubercles in the 
middle of the back, Taniura lymrna, 137, with a row of spines 
along the middle of the back, and the Butterfly Bay, Pteroplatea 
micrura, 138, with a disc twice as broad as long, and with a short, 
thin tail. 

The Trygonidse do not lay eggs as do the Skates ; the young 
complete their early development within the body of the mother, 





absorbing nourishment from the numerous filaments or ' tropho- 
nemata ' which project inward from the oviducal wall (see Trygon 
bleekeri, 133, and Pteroplatea micrura, 136 a and b) . A some- 
what similar provision for nourishing the young occurs in the 
Piked Dog-fish and the Smooth Hound, in which the trophonemata 
are represented by semicircular lappets of the lining of the uterus, 
each with a blood-vessel passing round the free edge. 

PLEURACANTHODES (Pleuracanthodian Sharks). 

The order Pleuracanthodes includes Palaeozoic Sharks of 
primitive type (fig. 26), the remains of which occur in rocks 
ranging from the Lower Carboniferous to the Lower Permian. 
The cartilages are permeated with minute granular calcifications, 
and the cranium sometimes possesses a curious symmetrical 
Assuring, although there are no true membrane bones. Slight 
calcifications sometimes occur in the sheath of the notochord. 
The paired fins have a long segmented axis of cartilage, fringed 
one or on both sides with cartilaginous fin-ravs, to the 




extremities of which the dermal fin-rays are attached in bunches 
(see sketch 141). The median fins are extensive. There is no 
shagreen, but small scattered tubercles occur in the skin, and 
there is a median spine projecting from the back of the head. 

The restored sketch (natural size) of Pleur -acanthus decheni, 140, Pleur- 
from the Permian Beds of Bohemia, shows the principal characters 
of these Sharks; the mouth is nearly terminal (fig. 26), the tail 
tapers evenly and symmetrically, the upper part of the caudal fin 
is separated by a short break from the dorsal fin, which extends 
forward nearly to the head, and there are two small anal fins. 
Remains of other species of Pleur acanthus occur in the Coal 
Measures of France, England, and America. The teeth (see 
sketch 142) are tricuspid, but the middle denticle being compa- 
ratively minute the name Diplodus is commonly applied to isolated 
eeth of the genus. 

HOLOCEPHALI (Chinueroid Fishes). 

The Chimseroid fishes are fishes of grotesque appearance, Wall- 
occurring mostly in deep water, and related most nearly to the case ~ K 
Elasmobranch fishes (Sharks and Rays), although their dentition 



bears some resemblance to that of the Dipnoan. fishes (Lung-fishes) , 
consisting of three pairs of tooth-plates (see 151), and the 
upper jaw is confluent with the cranium, as in the Dipnoi (see 
skull 148; also 154). The skin is soft and except in the extinct 
genera has few dermal denticles. The skeleton is cartilaginous, 
the notochord is persistent, and the calcified rings that occur in 
its sheath are more numerous than the vertebral segments. The 
marginal parts of the fins are supported by sheets of closely-set 


Fig. 27. — Rabbit-fish, Chimccra monstrosa. 

in., mouth ; n.p., nasal process, occurring in male only; op., operculum or 

gill-cover. (After Bridge, Camb. Nat. Hist., vii, 1904.) 

horny fin-rays. A spine is present in front of the first dorsal fin. 
The tail is long and terminates in a filament. The gill-slits do 
not open separately on the sides of the neck as they do in the 
Elasmobranchii, but are crowded together beneath a gill-cover 
(operculum), which is not supported by skeletal parts as it is in 
bony fishes like the Cod and Mackerel. Spiracles are wanting in 
the adult. There are valves in the conus arteriosus of the heart, 
and a spiral valve in the intestine. The intestine opens separately 
on to the exterior, and not into a common cloaca as it does in the 
Elasmobranchii. The eggs are large and the egg-shells horny 
(see 153). In addition to the pelvic claspers, such as occur also 
in Elasmobranch fishes, the male Chimaeroids have a pair of 
anterior claspers and a curious process arising from the snout 
(fig. 27, n.p.). The subclass is an ancient one; dental plates 
recognisable as those of Holocephali, and dorsal fin-spines 
(ichthyodorulites) are found in rocks of Devonian age. 

Squaloraia (145) is an extinct Chimseroid, the remains of which 
occur in the Lower Lias of Lyme Regis. The dentition is simpler than 
that of the recent Holocephali, and the plates are much thinner. 

In Chimara (149, and fig. 27) the snout is bluntly conical, and 


the mouth is small and situated on the under side of the head. 
The pectoral fins are large and set low down. The first dorsal fin 
stands high and is almost continuous with the long second dorsal, 
which itself is barely separated from the upper part of the tail fin. 
There is a small anal fin separated by a short interval only from 
the caudal. The caudal fin-membrane is about as high above as 
below the axial part of the tail. Chimcera monstrosa, the Rabbit- 
fish, 149, occurs in the Mediterranean and off the west coast of 
Europe and Africa ; it is caught as far north as the Orkney Isles. 
The American Elephant-fish or Spook-fish, Chimcera colliei, occurs 
in the Pacific Ocean only and is found in less deep water than the 
other Chimaeroids. Chimcera phantasma is a Japanese species. 

The Southern Elephant-fish, Callorhynchus antarcticus, 147, is Elephant- 
distinguished by a remarkable cutaneous flap depending from the feh- 
extremity of the rostrum. The tail is more distinctly heterocercal 
than in Chimcera, and the second dorsal fin is more widely 
separated from the first. A skeleton of Callorhynchus is shown 
on the floor of the case (146). Harriotta, 157, is a fish which 
grows to about two feet in length ; it has an elongated rostrum, 
large pectoral fins, and the anal fin not separated from the caudal. 
Harriotta occurs in about 1,000 fathoms in the West Atlantic, 
and was first described in 1894. 

The Chimseroid fishes attained their greatest development, both 
as regards number of genera and the size of the body, in the 
Cretaceous and Eocene periods. Comparison of the tooth of 
Edaphodon sedgwicki exhibited (155) with that of Callorhynchus 
(148) and Chimcera (151) shows how much greater was Edaphodon 
than the modern representatives of the Holocephali. 

OSTRACODERMI (Ostracoderm Fishes). 
The Ostracodermi are extinct fishes, the remains of which occur 
in Upper Silurian and Devonian strata. The head region is large 
and broad ; calcified scales occur on the tail, and protective shields 
on the front part of the body. Grooves on the surface of the 
plates and shields indicate a well-developed system of dermal 
sense-organs (lateral-line organs). The notochord was persistent, 
and there were no differentiated vertebrae. Definite jaws seem to 
have been wanting, and on account of this feature the Ostraco- 
dermi are by some authorities associated with the Cyclostomi 




(Lampreys and Hag-fishes). They were probably bottom -feeders 
and of sluggish habits. The models exhibited were constructed 
mainly from descriptions and figures in "The Fishes of the Old 
Red Sandstone/' (Palseont. Soc), by E. Ray Lankester, 1868 ? 


Fig. 28, 


-Restoration of Pberaspis rostrata, side view. 
(After A. S. Woodward.) 

and R. H. Traquair, 1894, 1902, 1904, and from the Geol. Mag., 
1902 (Traquair), and from specimens in the Geological Department 
of the Museum. 

The first two specimens (160 and 161) show the upper and under 
surfaces of Pteraspis rostrata ; the models are 2i times natural 

Fig. 29. — Dorsal shield of Pteraspis rostrata, upper view. 
(After Lankester.) 

size (linear enlargement). The hinder part of the tail is not 
shown, since nothing is known of its shape^or length. 

In Pteraspis (see figs. 28 and 29) the chief body plates are a 
conical plate in front, a large dorsal plate with a spine projecting 
from its hinder edge, a pair of long side plates, and a large ventral 
plate. The ventral plate was at first thought to belong to a 
different animal, and was named " Scapliaspis." The eye is 
small and lateral, and the exhalent aperture of the gill-chamber is 



near the hind end of the lateral plate on each side. The covering 
of the front part of the tail consists of closely-set rhombic scales. 
Remains of Pteraspis occur in the Lower Old Red Sandstone of 
England and Scotland, and the Lower Devonian of Galicia. 

The models of Vrepanaspis gemilndenensis (162 and 163 ; see 
also fig. 30) are of the natural size, and are based on the results 
of extensive investigations conducted by Dr. R. H. Traquair. The 
head and trunk region is broad, depressed, and sharply marked 
off from the tail, which is short, and terminates in a high caudal 
fin provided wfth stout marginal scales (fulcra) on its upper and 
lower edges. The median shields of the dorsal and ventral 

Fig. 30. — Restoration of Drepanasjpis (/einiindenensts. 

A, upper view; B, lower view. (After R. II. Traquair.) 

surfaces are relatively smaller than in Pteraspis, and are bounded 

by a mosaic of small plates. The remains of Drepanaspis occur 

in the Lower Devonian rocks of Gemiinden, in Germany. 

The model of Cephalaspis (164) is enlarged three times (linear). 
In Cephalaspis the eyes are large and fairly close together ; there is 
median dorsal fin and a heterocercal tail. The head-shield of 
Cephalaspis is large, rounded in front, and with a moderately- 
sharp edge. The angles of the head-shield are produced backward, 





and internally to these projections are movable flaps of elliptical 
shape above the gill-chambers. The scales on the side of the 
trunk region are high and narrow. Remains of Cephalaspis 
occur in the Lower Old Red Sandstone of Scotland and the 
Devonian of Canada. 

Pterichthys (fig. 31) is represented by a model of Pterichthys 
milleri (165) enlarged four diameters. In Pterichthys the head- 
plates are so grouped and so separated from the body-plates as to 

Fig. 31,-— Restoration of Pterichthys testud inarms. 
A, upper view ; B, lower view. 

suggest that the head was movable upon the body. The lateral 
line grooves are well marked ; the eyes are close together. A pair 
of limbs articulate at the front of the body region and consist of a 
hollow skeleton of dermal plates, presumably filled in life by 
muscles, &c. There is a median dorsal fin ; the tail is heterocercal 
and its sides are covered with imbricated scales. Remains 'of 
Pterichthys occur in the Lower Old Red Sandstone of Scotland 
and in the Devonian of the Eifel district. Visitors may be 
interested to know that a cardboard model of Pterichthys 
constructed by Hugh Miller is on exhibition in the Gallery of 
Fossil Fishes in the Geological Department of the Museum, 


DIPNOI (Lung-fishes). 

The Dipnoi are termed ' Lung-fishes ' because the existing 
forms — Ceratudus, Lepidosiren, and Protopterus — have an air- 
bladder adapted for use as a lung, supplementing and in dry- 
weather supplanting the gills as the organ of respiration. The 
air-bladder is further comparable with the lung of Amphibians, 
Reptiles, Birds and Mammals in that it returns the aerated blood 
direct to the heart, whereas in most fishes the blood from the air- 
bladder is carried through the general circulation before reaching 
the heart. 

The body is covered with overlapping cycloid scales. The 
skeleton is largely cartilaginous. The skull consists of cartilage 

case 6. 

ig. 32. — Mouth of Ceratodus forsteri, widely open to show the nostrils 
and teeth, n and n' , narial openings ; x, vomerine teeth ; xx, palato- 
pterygoid teeth ; xxx, mandibular teeth. 

covered by membrane bones, i. e. bones which are superficial, 
developed in the membrane covering the cartilage and not 
formed by the deposition of salts of lime in the cartilage itself. 
There are no distinctly differentiated maxillary and premaxillary 
bones (the bones which form the upper jaw in man), and 
the functional upper jaw (palato-quadrate cartilage) is confluent 
with the cranium, a condition designated by the expression ' auto- 
stylic skull/ a condition also met with in the Chimseras (Wall- 
case 5). The teeth are few, usually three pairs (tig. 32), and 


similar to those of the Chimaeras, namely a pair of mandibular plates 
below, and a pair of large palatine plates and a pair of small 
vomerines above. They are tuberculated, as though made up of 
fused denticles. 

The notochord is persistent, with unsegmented sheath and 
without vertebral centra. The vertebral axis of the tail is uptilted 
in most of the ancient forms, but the tail has a straight axis and 
a tapering, symmetrical outline in the recent forms. The paired 
fins are long and pointed, and each has a central, muscular, scale- 
covered lobe, and a fringe or marginal membrane supported by 
closely-set dermal fin-rays. 

The gills are covered by a movable operculum or gill-cover, 
devoid of branchiostegal rays. The nasal sacs open into the mouth 
• (fig. 32, p. 55) as well as on to the exterior of the snout, a condition 

met with in Amphibia and higher Vertebrates, but very uncommon 
in fishes. The conus arteriosus of the heart is spirally twisted, 
and is provided with several longitudinal rows of valves. The other 
chambers of the heart are partially divided into right and left parts, 
the left part carrying the blood from the air-bladder or lung-sac. 
In the intestine is a spiral valve, and the intestine and the urinary 
and genital ducts open into a common cloaca. The roof of the 
mid-brain is not divided into right and left optic lobes, and 
the optic nerves meet below the brain in the form of a cross or 
" chiasma." 


The Ctenodipterini are extinct Dipnoi of the Devonian, 
Carboniferous, and Permian epochs. The skull has numerous roof- 
bones; the bones of the gill-cover are less reduced, and the body- 
scales are thicker than in the living Dipnoi. The principal families 
are the Ctenodontidse, Dipteridse, and Phaneropleuridse, represented 
respectively in Wall-case 6 by a tooth-plate of Ctenodus (170), 
Dipterus. and restored models of the complete fish of Dipterus (168, and 
fig. 33) and Phaneropleuron (169, and rig. 33). In the Dipterida; 
the vertebral axis of the tail is uptilted (heterocercal tail), while in 


2 Q5 





the other two families the vertebral axis is straight and the outline 
of the tail symmetrical (diphycercal tail). A distinct anal fin is 
present in the Phaneropleuridse and Dipteridse, and two separate 
dorsal fins in the latter family. 


Cerat- In the Monopneumones the lung, or modified air-bladder, is a 

single organ; it lies to the dorsal side of the alimentary 
canal, but opens into the ventral wall of the oesophagus. It 
has a central cavity, communicating with air-cells or alveoli in 
the thickness of its walls. The Ceratodus or Australian Lung- 
fish, Ceratodus forsteri (171, and fig. 34), which is the sole 
living representative of the order, lives in the stagnant pools 
connected with the Burnett and Mary Rivers of Queensland. It is 
sluggish in habit and feeds on crustaceans, worms and molluscs. 
It has four pairs of well-developed gills by which aquatic respira- 
tion is effected. In the dry season, when the water is thick and 
foul, and to a less extent at other seasons also, the fish rises 
occasionally to the surface to empty its lung-sac and to take a 
fresh supply of air. The Ceratodus grows to a length of five or 
six feet, and is excellent eating. It was first described in 1870 
by Mr. G. Krefft, who recognised the teeth as similar to the teeth 
of Ceratodus which had long been known in a fossil state from 
the Jurassic rocks. The name 'Barramunda' is sometimes applied 
to Ceratodus, but it is used indiscriminately by the aborigines for 
any large fresh-water fish, and as often as not is applied to 
Osteoglossum (Scleropages) leichardti. 

The paired fins of the Ceratodus are long and pointed, and each 
consists of a middle, thick, muscular part or ' lobe ', supported by 
an axial series of cartilages, and two series of obliquely disposed, 
smaller cartilages in connection with the former, and a fringe or 
fin-membrane supported by numerous closely-set fin-rays of dermal 
origin. This type of fin is known as the ' archipterygium } , and 
was formerly regarded as a primitive type of fin. The tail is 
reduced and symmetrical, and is continuous with the single dorsal 
and anal fins. The cartilage of the skull is protected by a few 
larye bony plates, covered with skin. 








































Proto- I n the Dipneumones, including the African Lung-fishes, 

pterus. Protopterus, 174, 175, 176, and the American Lung-fish, Lepido- 
siren, 173, the lungs are two in number, but they communicate 
with the oesophagus by a single opening. The gill system is 
more reduced than in Ceratodus, for whereas in that fish four gill- 
arches bear gills, in the Dipneumones the first and second arches 
have no gills. In the young there are one or more external gills, 
projecting freely, and situated above the gill-opening. These have 
a thick central axis and a fringe, and bear some resemblance to 
the fins, so much so that some authorities regard the paired limbs 
of Vertebrates as having been derived by a modification of gill 
structures, Occasionally the external gills persist, in a reduced 
form, in adult life. As in Ceratodus the tail is reduced and 
symmetrical, and is continuous with the single, undivided dorsal 
and anal fins, but the paired fins differ in being more slender and 
in not possessing the fringe along the front edge. 

The genus Protopterus has a wide distribution over the 
continent of Africa, and three species are to be distinguished. 
The fishes are found in marshes in the vicinity of rivers ; they are 
mainly carnivorous and voracious, and their food consists of frogs, 
worms and insects. The three species differ in the length of the 
head, the number of scales in the lateral line, the size of the eyes, 
and the position of the front end of the dorsal fin. The Gambian 
Lung-fish, Protopterus annectens, 176, has been longest known, 
the larger species, the Egyptian Lung-fish, Protopterus cethiopicus, 
175, and the Congo Lung-fish, Protopterus dolloi, 174<, are 
comparatively recent discoveries (fig. 35). 

At the beginning of the dry season the Protopterus buries itself 
in the thick mud of the swamps in which it lives, and remains 
curled up in a dormant condition for several months. An opening 
is left at the upper end of the mud chamber for breathiug purposes^ 
respiration during the dry season being effected by the lungs alone. 
The two dried nodules of clay exhibited (178) contain each a small 
specimen (now shrivelled up) of Protopterus annectens. 
Lepido- In the South American Lung-fish, Lepido sir en paradox a (173, 

and fig. 35), the body is long and rounded, and the paired fins 





IP' ->: 

i i 


are so attenuated as to have the form of tapering filaments, devoid 
of scales and fin-rays. The red structures projecting as tufts from 
the pelvic fins are highly vascular filaments which are developed 
in the male during the breeding season, and doubtless act as 
accessory respiratory organs ; they dwindle away after the 
breeding season. These accessory breathing organs are not 
altogether without parallel, for in a Siluroid fish, Plotosus, there 
is a median, red, tree-like, branched organ, situated immediately 
behind the anus and in advance of the anal fin. It is not clear in 
the case of Plotosus whether the organ varies in size at different 
seasons and whether it occurs in both sexes. 

The Lepidosiren occurs in the marshes and swamps of the 
rivers of the central part of the South American continent. It 
is of sluggish habits and feeds on water-snails and water-weed. 
It rises to the surface to breathe, making use of the lung-sacs 
as well as the gills ; in the dry season it remains iu a torpid 
condition in the dried mud and breathes by the lungs alone. The 
flesh is much esteemed as food by the Indians. A series of the 
eggs and young of Lepidosiren, as also those of Protopterus and 
Ceratodus, are exhibited in Cabinet-case 29 (specimens 1159, 1160, 

COCCOSTEOMORPHI (Jointed-neck Fishes). 

The Coccosteus-like fishes (Coccosteomorphi or Arthrodira) are 
extinct fishes of the Devonian and Lower Carboniferous periods, 
and are but doubtfully referred to the subclass Dipnoi. The head 
and front portion of the trunk are covered with large bony plates, 
the head plates being movably articulated upon those of the body, 
whence the name Arthrodira (joint-neck). The teeth are some- 
what similar to those of Protopterus. The vertebral axis appears 
to have been unossified, but the dorsal and ventral arches and the 
supports of the single dorsal fin are slightly bony. The tail is 
heterocercal, and there are evidences of the existence of pelvic fins. 
A restoration of Coccosteus decipiens, of the Lower Old Red Sand- 
stone of North Scotland, is shown in two views, dorsal (180) and 


side (181). Some of the North American forms of Arthrodiraa 
fishes, such as Gorgonichthys, Dinichthys, and Titanichthys, Avere 
of enormous size, some idea of which may be gathered by a 
comparison of the mandible or lower jaw of Coccosteus (182) with 
that of Gorgonichthys (183). 

TELEOSTOMI (Fishes with a Maxillary Upper Jaw) . 

In the Teleostome fishes the lower jaw or mandible is the same AV all- 
morphological element of the skull (namely, Meckel's cartilage and case 6 - 
related bones) as in the previous subclasses of fishes, but the 
upper jaw, which bears usually one or more rows of teeth biting 
against the mandibular teeth, is not the palatoquadrate cartilage, 
but consists of bones of dermal origin called premaxilla and 
maxilla. The upper jaw of the Teleostomi is the equivalent of the 
upper jaw of the higher vertebrates, namely, Amphibians, Reptiles, 
Birds and Mammals. The palatoquadrate cartilages are present 
in the roof of the mouth, but they are reduced, and are of less 
importance than in the first four subclasses of fishes. 

The gills are pectinate, the gill-filaments being arranged like 
the teeth of a comb, and they are protected by a gill-cover 
supported by opercular bones and (usually) branchiostegal rays, 
slender curved bones supporting the lower portion of the gill-cover. 
The skull is hyostylic, i. e. the jaw apparatus is linked to the 
auditory region of the skull by means of the hyomandibular bone. 
There is no cloaca and the rectum opens in front of the urinary 
and generative aperture or apertures. The ova are usually small 
and numerous. 

STYLOPTERYGII (Fishes with Lobed Fins). 

The Teleostome fishes are divided into three orders, the first two 
of which differ the one from the other chiefly in the characters of 
the paired fins. In the first order, the Stylopterygii, including 
the Crossopterygian Ganoids of older writers, the pectoral, and to 
a somewhat less extent the pelvic fins are f lobed ' like those of the 


Dipnoi ; they consist of a thick, muscular, scale-covered middle 
part, the lobe, either pointed or rounded at the end, and a fringe 
or marginal membrane supported by closely-set fin-rays developed 
in the skin (dermal fin- rays). The dorsal fins are two, or else 
(e. g. Polypterus, 193, and fig. 40) consist of numerous finlets ; 
the pelvic fins are set well behind the pectorals (abdominal 

The cartilage of the skull in the Stylopterygian fishes is well 
protected by dermal bones; there is no supraoccipital bone. 
There are two or more jugular plates between the halves of the 
mandible, and the branchiostegal rays have the form of lateral 
jugular plates. There are a pair of infraclavicles in the shoulder 
girdle. The known range of these fishes is from the Devonian 
epoch to the present time. In the sole living representatives of 
the order, Polypterus and Calamichthys, the heart has a conus 
arteriosus pi^ovided with numerous valves ; there is a spiral valve 
in the intestine, the spiracles are open, abdominal pores are 
present, the air-bladder has an open duct, and the optic nerves 
meet below the brain in the form of a cross, or ' chiasma/ The 
principal suborders of the Stylopterygii are the Holoptychioides or 
Khipidistia, the Coelacanthoides or Actinistia, and the Polyteroides 
or Cladistia. 

The Holoptychioides are extinct fishes, the remains of which 
occur mostly in rocks of Devonian and Carboniferous age. In the 
anal fin and in each of the two dorsal fins the most internal 
skeletal elements (axonosts) are fused into a single piece, with a 
broad outer bend, bearing from three to six rod-like elements 
(baseosts), which are fewer than the dermal fin-rays, and are over- 
lapped by them. The skeleton of the pectoral fin articulates with 
the shoulder girdle by a single basal element (unibasal fin). The 
vertebral column has no ossified centra, or has ring-like centra. 
The teeth have a complicated folded structure ; the nostrils are on 
the lower surface of the snout. 


In the family Holoptychiidae, e. g. Holoptychius flemingi piolo- 
(186, and fig. 36), the remains of which fish occur in the ptychius. 
Upper Old Red Sandstone of Scotland and the Upper Devonian 
of Belgium, the body is covered with overlapping cycloid 

Fig. 36.— Holoptychius flemingi, restored. 

scales with a superficial layer of hard substance resembling the 
enamel of teeth, and called vitro-dentine or ganoin. The pectoral 
fins have a long, pointed, scaled a xis or lobe, the vertebral 
column has no bony centra, the axis of the tail is slightly up- 
tilted, and the vertical infoldings of the teeth are very numerous 
and complex. 

In the family Rhizodontidse, represented in the exhibited series 
by Eusthenopteron foordi (188, and fig. 37), a fish found in 
the Upper Devonian of Canada, the scales are* cycloid, like 
those of Holoptychius, the pectoral and pelvic fins are shorter 
than those of the Holoptychian fishes, the vertebral column 
has ring-like centra in some of the genera, the axis of the tail 
is either straight or is slightly uptilted, the teeth are conical, 
and the vertical infoldings of the walls are comparatively 

Resembling the Rhizodontidse in the pectoral fins being obtusely 
lobate, but differing in the scales being rhomboidal instead of 






cycloid, and in having a more 
continuous and smooth layer of 
ganoin, are the Osteolepidse, e. g. 
Osteolepis macrolepidotus (189, 
and fig. 38), a fish whose re- 
mains occur in the Lower Old 
Red Sandstone of Scotland, and 
Megalichthys hibberti, 190, a 
much larger fish from the Coal 
Measures of Great Britain. The 
vertebral column has ring-like 
centra in the caudal region ; the 
vertebral axis of the tail is slightly 
uptilted, the teeth are conical, 
with the wall only slightly 
infolded at the base. 

The four restorations alluded 
to in the preceding paragraphs, 
and several others exhibited in 
Wall-cases 5-7, have been con- 
structed after critical examination 
of the remains of the fishes in 
the Geological Department of 
the Museum, and the published 
figures of other specimens, with 
a view to enabling the public 
visiting this Gallery to form some 
idea of what the fishes probably 
looked like in the ages long ago 
in which they lived. The size of 
the fish, the form of the body, 
whether rounded or flattened, the 
shape of the various fins, their 
positions on the body, the outline 
of the tail, the characters and 
arrangement of the scales and 
head-plates — these are details 
which may be gathered from the 



restorations. The colours that have been given to the models are, 
of course, fanciful ; the plaster models in their natural whiteness 
would have been painful to the eye, and although to leave them 
uncoloured would have been a more candid admission of ignorance 
as to what the real, colours of the fishes were, the models would 
not have lent themselves well for comparison of their structural 
features with those of the stuffed fishes exhibited in the same 


The suborder Coelacanthoides is represented by a restoration 
of Undina gulo (192, and fig. 39) from the Lower Lias of 
Dorset, and a cast of a specimen of Undina penicillata, 191, from 
the Lithographic Stone (Lower Kimmeridgian) of Bavaria. The 
range of the suborder in the present state of our knowledge is 
from the Lower Carboniferous to the Upper Cretaceous. The 
proximal skeletal elements, or axonosts, of the anal fin and of each 
of the dorsal fins are fused into a single piece. The paired fins 
are comparatively short (obtusely lobate), and the skeleton of the 
pectoral is unibasal. The vertebral column is without bony 
centra. In the tail fin above and below the vertebral axis the 
axonosts are equal in number to the neural and hsemal spines of 
the vertebra?, and each axonost is directly connected with a single 
dermal fin-ray. The outline of the tail is symmetrical, usually 
with an axial vestige of the dwindling caudal fin proper, showing 
that the " tail fin " is composed mainly of detached portions of the 
dorsal and anal fins. The distal parts of the dermal fin-rays of all 
the fins are transversely jointed, but they are not forked. The 
scales are cycloid, and the teeth are simple. The skeleton of the 
gill-cover is reduced to a single opercular bone. There is a 
bony wall to the air-bladder. The nostrils are on the under side 
of the snout. The principal genera are Coelacanthus (Carbo- 
niferous and Permian of Britain and Germany), Undina (Jurassic), 
Diplurus (Trias of North America), and Macropoma (Cretaceous 
of England, &c). 





The suborder Polypteroides includes the only modern Crosso- 
pterygian fishes, namely Polypterus (193, and fig. 40), and 
Calamichthys (195), fresh-water fishes of tropical Africa. The 
dorsal fin has the form of numerous finlets, each with a spine in 
front ; the outline of the tail is symmetrical, and the axis is not 
up tilted in the adult, although it is in the young.. The pectoral 
fins are obtusely lobate; the skeleton of each consists of three 
basal elements articulating with the shoulder girdle, a row of rod- 
like bones radiating from their periphery, and long, thin, closely-set 
dermal fin-rays supporting the marginal fringe of the fin ; the 
pelvic fins are not lobate. The centra of the vertebras are ossified, 
and are concave in front and behind (amphicoelous) . The scales 
are rhombic, set in oblique lines, thick, with an external layer of 
smooth, hard vitro-dentine or ganoin, covered by soft skin. The 
teeth are simple, the walls not folded. There are two vomerine 
bones, and two jugular plates. The nostrils are on the upper side 
of the snout and project as short tubes; the spiracles remain 

& £ £ A # 

Fig. 40. — Polypterus bichir. 

Polypterus (193), like the Lung-fishes, is capable of breathing 
air, but it cannot remain alive out of water more than three hours. 
The air-bladder is double and cellular, and its duct opens into 
the ventral wall of the pharynx. Its blood-supply is from T ,the 
efferent vessel of the last gill ; its vein joins the hepatic vein, and 
does not carry the blood direct to the heart as it does in the Dipnoi. 
The young Polypterus has an external gill, which is attached 
to the operculum (fig. 41). Ten or more species of Polypterus 
are known ; the earliest known species is Polypterus bichir of the 
Nile, which is said to attain a length of four feet. It feeds on 
small fishes, frogs, and crustaceans. Calamichthys (195), is a 


smaller and more attenuated and eel-like fish than Polypterus ; it 
has no pelvic fins, and the dorsal finlets are more isolated, and 
each spine supports but a single soft ray. The fish lives in shallow- 
parts of the Senegal and Congo among the interlaced roots of 

Fig. 41. — Larva of Polypterus senegalensis. X 4, showing the large external 
gill. (From Bridge, Camb. Nat. Hist., vii, 1904, after Budgett.) 

ASTYLOPTERYGII (Ganoid Fishes without Lobed Fins). 

In the Astylopterygii the paired fins have not a conspicuous 
muscular " lobe." The projecting part of the fin consists of skin 
supported by large bony fin-rays of dermal origin, which articulate 
at their bases with a row of cartilages or bones, called the pterygia, 
embedded in the body and connected with the shoulder girdle 
(see skeleton of pectoral fin of Sturgeon, 209, and of Gar-pike, 21 7). 
The pelvic fins are set far behind the pectorals (abdominal 
position) ; the skull is well protected by dermal bones ; there is no 
supraoccipital bone. The known range of these fishes is from the 
Devonian epoch to the present time. In the living representatives, 
e.g. the Sturgeon, Gar-pike and Bow-fin, the heart has a conus 
arteriosus provided with two or more rows of valves ; there is a 
spiral valve in the intestine ; abdominal pores are present ; the 
air-bladder has an open duct ; the testis is connected with the 
kidney ; and the optic nerves meet below the brain in the form of 
a chiasma. There are three suborders, the Sturioniformes or 
Sturgeons, the Lepidosteiformes or Gar-pikes, and the Amiiformes 
or Bow-fins. 


Sturioniformes (Sturgeons). 

Tde Sturioniformes or Chondrostei are the fishes long known as 
the " Cartilaginous Ganoids." In the most ancient forms (e. g. 
Palatoniscus, 196, and fig. 42) the covering of the body consists 
of a continuous cuirass of rhombic scales, rarely of cycloid scales. 
In the modern forms the skin is almost devoid of scales, as in 

Fig. 42. — Kestoration of Palceom'scus macropomus. 
(After R.B.Traquair.) 

Polyodon, the Paddle-fish (211), or there are five longitudinal rows 
of keeled scutes, as in Acipenser, the Sturgeon (201). The endo- 
skeletonis largely cartilaginous; the head is covered with bony plates 
of dermal origin ; the notochord is persistent and not constricted by 
the formation of vertebral centra. There is a single dorsal fin 
and a single anal fin, with fulcra, i. e. spine-like scales along the 
front edge ; the fin-rays of the median fins are more numerous 
than the basal elements ; the caudal fin is usually heterocercal and 
with fulcra. The pelvic fins have a series of basal cartilages. An 
infraclavicle is present in the pectoral girdle, in addition to the 
clavicle and supraclavicle (see 208). The teeth are small or 
absent. The range of the suborder is from the Lower Devonian 
to the present time. 

The Palseoniscidse (196-197) are extinct fishes with elongate 
and fusiform body, with short-based dorsal and anal fins, and with 
a complete investment of rhombic scales, rarely with cycloid scales. 
The Palseoniscid fishes range from the Devonian to the Jurassic, 
and were most abundant in Carboniferous and Lower Permian 
times. Cheirolepis (197), is of Devonian age, and Palaoniscus 
(196) Upper Permian. 



The Platysomatidse (198) are extinct fishes ranging from the 
Carboniferous to the Permian. The body is laterally compressed 
and rather deep in a vertical direction, with a close investment of 
rhombic scales ; the base of the dorsal fin is extended, the tail 

heterocercal. As in the previous family there are broad branchio- . 

stegal rays, with an anterior median plate in front. The jaws are dus. 
short and stout, the teeth obtuse. The principal genera are 
Cheirodus (198, and fig. 43), Eurynotus, and Platysomus. 





The Chondrosteidse (e. g. 200), which may be regarded as a 
connecting link between the ancient Palseoniscidse and the modern 
Sturgeons, include Chondrosteus, from the Lower Lias of England, 
and Gyrosteus, from the Upper Lias of Yorkshire. There are no 
scutes in the skin, but the dorsal lobe of the tail-fin is armed with 
fulcra and clothed with rhombic scales. The mouth is small, 
situated on the under side of the snout, and without teeth in the 
adult. The eye is set far forward ; there are numerous branchio- 
stegal rays. 

In the Polyodontidae, a modern family including the Paddle- 
fish of the Mississippi valley (211), and the Sword-bill Sturgeon of 
the rivers of China (212), the scales in the skin are very small and 
isolated ; the tail is heterocercal, and is armed with fulcra on the 
upper edge, the snout is much prolonged, and without barbels. 
The mouth is large, with minute teeth ; the bones of the cranial 
roof form a discontinuous shield; there are no spines to the 
pectoral fins. 

The Paddle-fish or Spoon-bill Sturgeon, Polyodon folium, 211, 
is sluggish in its habits and feeds chiefly on the minute organisms 
contained in the mud which it consumes. The gill-rakers are 
long and fine, and form an efficient filter, preventing the food 
particles escaping through the gill-slits with the expiratory current 
of water. The paddle-shaped rostrum of the fish is used for 
stirring up the mud, and serves also as an organ of touch, necessary 
to the animal in consequence of the smallness of the eyes and the 
muddiness of the water which renders distinct vision impossible. 
The Paddle-fish reaches an occasional length of six feet and a 
weight of 120 lbs., but the average size is from 10 to 30 lbs. The 
Sword-bill Sturgeon, Psephurus gladius, 212, has a tapering 
rostrum,, and the fulcra of the fins are fewer and of larger size 
than those of the Paddle-fish. The Sword-bill is said to attain a 
length of 20 feet ; in its habits and mode of life it resembles the 

In the Acipenseridse, or Sturgeons proper, there are five longi- 
tudinal rows of keeled plates or scutes, and also small, irregular, 
stellate scutes scattered throughout the skin ; the mouth is small, 
inferior, suctorial, and without teeth in the adult, and there are 
four barbels in front of the mouth. There are fulcra on the front 


edge of the upper lobe of the tail fin, which is typically hetero- 
cercal. The first fin-ray of the pectoral fin is stout and spine-like. 
The gill-cover is supported by a single plate (opercular bone), and 
there are no branchiostegal rays. The bones of the cranial roof 
form a continuous shield, which has a median series of bones, not 
present in the Chondrosteidse. 

The fifteen or more species of Sturgeon (Acipenser) that are Sturgeon. 
known occur in the seas, estuaries and rivers of the temperate and 
northern regions of the northern hemisphere. Most Sturgeons 
are migratory fishes, living in the sea, but ascending rivers for the 
purpose of spawning. Although the Sturgeons are not allied 
to the Salmons and are structurally very dissimilar, there is a 
strange parallelism in their habits and distribution ; they are both 
anadromous, living in the sea but ascending rivers to spawn, and 
are both northern forms, common in Europe and North America, 
less common in Asia ; in both there are some species or varieties 
which are non-migratory and confined to fresh water. Sturgeons 
are ground-feeders and rout about diligently in the gravel, sand 
and mud for the worms, small fishes, molluscs and crustaceans 
that constitute their food. The mouth is very protrusible, and is 
thrust downward as a spout-like tube into the mud. 

The Sturgeons are fishes of considerable economic importance. 
The flesh, though rich and fat, is esteemed as an article of food, 
and the ovaries of numerous Russian and American species find 
their way to market in the form of " caviare." The collection of Caviare, 
the unshed spawn and its conversion into caviare form an im- 
portant summer industry near the mouths of the great rivers of 
Eastern Europe. One of the most important stations is at 
Rubinsk, on the Volga, where the people collect in thousands in 
the late spring and await the advent of the fish in the river. As 
soon as notice is given by a look-out man of the arrival of the 
shoal, the people attack the fish by nets and spears. The ovaries 
are taken out, washed in vinegar, and spread upon boards in the 
open air. Salt is then rubbed in by hand and the caviare is 
pressed in bags and packed in kegs for the market. In Russia 
caviare is a regular article of diet, but in the western countries of 
Europe it is eaten only as a delicacy or a savoury. There is a 
superior form of caviare which is not salted and pressed, but is 


preserved on ice until it is required for consumption. From the 
inglass. air-bladder of the Sturgeon isinglass is prepared (see specimens 
1185 in Cabinet-case 28). The air-bladders are slit open and 
cleaned and sent to market in the rough form, or the isinglass is 
extracted by hot water and dried in the form of thin sheets, which 
are sold as sheets, of various qualities, or are cut up into threads 
or rolled and bent into " staple." Specimens of all these kinds 
are shown. 

The great Russian Sturgeon, Acipenser huso, that furnishes so 
much of the caviare and isinglass of commerce, is not at the time 
of writing this guide-book on exhibition in the museum. It grows 
to a weight of 3,000 lbs., and is found in the Black Sea, Caspian 
Sea, Sea of Azov and their rivers. The Sturgeon that is found off 
the British coast is Acipenser sturio, a species that is also caught 
in the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, the seas of Western and 
Northern Europe, and on the Atlantic coast of North America. 
It grows to 10 or 11 feet. The specimen 1136 hanging from the 
rail opposite Wall-case 6 was caught on the Dogger Bank in 
1873, and measures 10 feet 4 inches; that marked 1102, standing 
within the centre rail, measures a little over 8 feet. 

Acipenser stwio is commonly called the Royal Sturgeon, speci- 
mens caught in British waters being the property of the sovereign, 
although the royal prerogative is not exercised. In parts of 
the Continent where it is common this Sturgeon (Acipenser 
stwio) is utilised as a source of caviare and isinglass, as also are 
the Short-snouted Sturgeon, Acipenser gilldenstadtii, 201, of the 
Danube and rivers and seas of Russia and Western Asia, and 
the Acipenser stellatus of Russia, 20-1, so called from the star- 
shaped ossifications in the skin. Acipenser naccarrii, 205, is a 
Sturgeon confined to the Adriatic ; it is known to the Italian 
fishermen as the li Storione cobice." Acipenser maculosus, 206, is 
the common Sturgeon of America ; it is found on the coasts and 
in the rivers of Arctic and Eastern North America; Acipenser 
rubicundus, 202, is common in the great lakes of North America, 
and is called the Lake Sturgeon. The Sterlet, Acipenser ruthenus, 
203, is a small Sturgeon, rarely exceeding three, feet in length, 
found in the seas and rivers of Russia and also in the Danube ; 
the flesh of the Sterlet is considered exceptionally choice. 


The Shovel-nosed Sturgeon, Scaphirhynchus platyrhynchus, 210, shovel- 
of the Mississippi and other rivers of the Southern States of North nose. 
America is confined to fresh water. It differs from the true 
Sturgeons of the genus Acipenser in the rostrum being long and 
flattened, in the absence of open spiracles, and in the union of the 
longitudinal rows of scutes beneath the dorsal fin to form a scaly- 
armour investing the tail, whereas in the Sturgeons proper the 
rows of scutes remain distinct as far as the tail. 

Lepidosteiformes (Gar-pikes). 

The Lepidosteiformes or iEtheospondyli are a small suborder 
including two families, the Aspidorhynchidse and theLepidosteidae, 
the former with extinct fishes only. The body is covered with 
thick, rhombic scales, with a hard superficial layer of ganoin ; 
they are arranged in oblique rows and are covered by a thin skin. 
All the fins have fulcra; the fin-rays are branched and jointed at 
their ends. The dorsal and anal fins are single and short-based, 
and their endoskeletal elements are as numerous as the dermal 
fin-rays. The pectoral fin has one row of basal bones (pterygia) 
carrying the dermal fin-rays * ; the pelvic fins have not a series 
of basal cartilages. There is no infraclavicle in the pectoral girdle, 
and there is no pelvic girdle. The spiracle is wanting ; the snout 
is elongated ; in the mandible are splenial and coronoid bones ; 
the vomerine bone is paired; there are no jugular plates; the 
opercular apparatus is complete ; between the preopercular bone 
and the orbit are one or more rows of postorbital bones. 

The Aspidorhynchidse (213, and fig. 44, p. 78), are long-bodied 
fishes with a pointed preoral rostrum, and deep, rhomboidal, un- 
equal scales. The fins are small, the fulcra weak ; the caudal fin 
is homocercal, i. e. with symmetrical outline and without obvious 
uptilting of the vertebral axis. The vertebral centra are either 

* The preparation marked 217 shows not merely the characters of the 
pectoral fin-skeleton of Lepidosteus, but may be taken to illustrate the 
distinctive features of the astylopterygian fin generally. The dermal fin- 
rays are strongly developed and form the most important part of the fin, 
while the basal parts of the skeleton, the pterygia, are reduced as compared 
with those of the stylopterygian fin, and are contained in a small muscular 
mound which projects but little from the side of the body. 


ring-shaped or biconcave. The teeth are sharp ; the lower jaw 
has a movable premandibular bone ; the branchiostegal rays are 
numerous. These fishes range from the Lower Oolite to the 
Upper Chalk; there are two genera, Aspidorhynchus (213) and 

Fig. 44. — Restoration of Aspidorhynchus acutirostris. 

(After A. S. Woodward.) 

In the family Lepidosteidse the fin-fulcra are large ; the tail has 
a fairly symmetrical outline although the vertebral axis is con- 
spicuously uptilted ; the centra of the vertebrae are well ossified 
and are convex in front and concave behind (opisthoccelous) ; the 
teeth are numerous, of unequal size, and the larger ones have the 
bases folded in a manner reminiscent of those of the Holopty- 
chioides. The maxilla consists of several small bones in series ; 
the branchiostegal rays are usually three. The conus arteriosus 
has eight longitudinal rows of valves, five in each row. Remains 
of species of Lepidosteus are known from Eocene and later strata. 
Gar-pike. rr ne existing species of Lepidosteus, known as Gar-pikes (214- 
216, and fig. 45), inhabit the fresh waters of North America 

Fig. 45. — Broad-nosed Gar-Pike, Lepidosteus viridis. 

and Cuba and one species occurs in China. The fishes are 
sluggish but voracious. They themselves are valueless as food, 
and they create havoc among other fresh-water fishes, against 
whose attacks they are invulnerable. Except in the breeding 
season the Gar-pike frequents the deeper parts of the rivers and 
lakes. The fish rises constantly to the surface, where it emits 


bubbles of gas from the nostrils, situated near the end of the 
snout, in a manner suggesting that the air-bladder assists in the 

Amiiformes (Bow-fins). 

The Amiiformes or Protospondyli form a suborder of fishes Wall- 
all of which, except Amia, the Bow-fin of North America, are 
extinct, and most of which are Mesozoic in their stratigraphical 
range. The dermal fin-rays of the dorsal and anal fins are equal 
in number to the endoskeletal supporting elements; the endo- 
skeletal elements of the pelvic fins are rudimentary or absent ; 
there is no infraclavicle in the pectoral girdle. The extremity of 
the vertebral column is upturned, but the outline of the tail-fin is 
symmetrical. There is a median jugular plate between the halves 
of the mandible; the branchiostegal rays are flattened and rather 
broad; in the mandible are splenial and coronoid bones; there 
are two vomerine bones (coalescent in the Pycnodontidse) ; there 
is no supraoccipital bone (except in Dapedius). The suborder 
comprises the families Semionotidse, Macrosemiidse, Pycnodontidse, 
Eugnathidse, Amiidae, aud Pachycormidse. 

Fig. 46. — Lepidotus mantelli. 

The Semionotidse (fig. 46), the oldest and most generalised of Le F~ 
the Amiiformes, are represented by Lepidotus notopterus (222), 
from the Lithographic Stone of Bavaria, the great Lepidotus 
maximus (1037, Table 49) from the same formation and locality, 
and a specimen of Dapedius leiosomus (223). In this family 


the body is somewhat compressed laterally and of moderate 
' vertical depth, and is covered with rhombic scales ; the dorsal fin 
does not extend more than half the length of the trunk ; all the 
fins have large fulcra. The gape of the mouth is small, the jaws 
and vomer are provided with several rows of teeth, more or less 
conical. The vertebrae have either half-centra or ring-centra 
only, the notochord being evidently largely persistent in adult 
life. The parietal bones meet in the middle line. The range of 
the family is from the Upper Permian to the Cretaceous. 

In the family Pycnodontidse also the body is compressed, 

Pycno- high and oval, with rhombic scales, which, however, are in some 
8e ' cases wanting in the hinder part of the body. The pelvic fins are 
small, the dorsal and anal fins are more or less extended, and 
the fin-rays robust ; there are no fulcra. There are no vertebral 
centra, the notochordal sheath being apparently without any 
ossifications. The opercular apparatus is reduced; there is no 
jugular plate ; the parietal bones are separated by an occipital 
plate. The gape of the mouth is small, the dentition consists 
of prehensible teeth on the premaxillary and dentary bones, 
and oval teeth adapted for crushing on the vomerine and splenial 
bones (see 225). The family ranges from the Lower Lias to the 
Lower Eocene; the principal genera are Gyrodus (224, Gyrodus 
circularis, from the Lithographic Stone of Bavaria), Mesturus, 
Mesodon and Pycnodus. 

The Eugnathidse, e. g. Eugnathus orthostomus, 226, are a 
family of fishes which must have been predatory, judging from 
their large, strong mouth and their teeth, the marginal ones of 
which are conical and larger than the inner teeth. The body 
is long and not much laterally compressed, the scales are rhombic, 
the fulcra large, the fin -rays robust, the dorsal and anal fins 
short-based. The vertebral centra are rarely more than incomplete 
rings (hypocentra and pleurocentra alternating), two such rings 
to each vertebra. The opercular apparatus is complete, with a 
single jugular plate ; the prem axillae are in contact. The family 
ranges- from the Trias to the Cretaceous. 

AmiidEe The family Amiidse is a small one containing the living Amia, 
a fish which in structure approaches more nearly to the Neichthyes 


or Teleostei than do any of the other fishes of the order Asty- 
lopterygii. The body is somewhat compressed laterally, and 
covered with thin, flexible, cycloid scales ; the dorsal fin is more 
or less long and low, the anal fin is short-based ; the fin-rays are 
robust ; there are no fulcra, except in Megalnrus. The tail is 
nearly homocercal, with a rounded hinder margin; it is distinctly 
heterocercal in the young. The vertebrae are well ossified (except 
in Liodesmus) and are amphiccelous [i. e. the centra are hollow 
both in front and behind) ; in the caudal region the half-centra 
remain distinct. The skull bears a close resemblance to that 
of the Teleostei, but the vomer is paired, and there is no supra- 
occipital bone. The opercular apparatus is complete, and there 
is a large median jugular plate. The premaxillary bones meet, 
and are not separated as they are in the next family. 

The Bow-fin, Amia calva, 227, of the North American lakes Bow-fin. 
and rivers, is the sole existing member of the family; it grows 
to about 30 inches in length ; it is voracious and feeds upon 
crustaceans and insects. The general coloration is a dark mottled 
green ; the male is smaller than the female and is distinguished 
by the presence of a round black spot encircled by a margin of 
orange at the base of the tail. The Bow-fin is valueless as food, 
the flesh being soft, watery and ill-flavoured. The air-bladder 
is cellular and lung-like, and opens into the dorsal wall of the 
pharynx. Owing to the high development of the air-bladder as 
a lung- sac the fish can live out of water for a long time. 

The Pachycormidse (e. g. Hypsocormus, 229) are an extinct Pachy- 
family of large-mouthed, predatory fishes related to the Amiidse. corm idae. 
The scales are thin and rhombic, sometimes rounded at the 
postero-inferior angle. The dorsal fin is short based, with 
fin-rays slender and closely set, and fulcra few or absent. The 
ethmoid region of the cranium is fused with the vomerine bones, 
and is more or less produced in front of the mouth, forming 
a prominent rostrum which separates the two premaxillse. The 
branchiostegal rays are numerous ; there is a single, large 
jugular plate. Some of the teeth are large and conical. Feeble 
ossifications sometimes occur in the sheath of the notochord, 
but in most cases the notochord persisted without reduction in 


adult life. The family ranges from the Lias to the Lower 
Cretaceous, and includes the genera Pachycormus, Euthijnotus, 
Hijpsocormus, and some others. 


("Modern" Bony Fishes). 

The great majority of living fishes, fresh-water and marine, 
fall under the head Neichthyes or Teleostei- The skeleton of 
the paired fins consists almost entirely of ossified fin-rays of 
dermal origin, the row of ossified cartilages (pterygia) with which 
the basal ends of these are connected being very greatly reduced ; 
except in the reduction of the pterygials the paired fins resemble 
those of the previous order, the Astylopterygii, and by some 
authorities the orders Astylopterygii and Neichthyes are grouped 
together under the same head, the Actinopterygii, characterised by 
the importance of the dermal fin-rays in comparison with the 
basal parts of the pectoral fin- skeleton. The muscles of the fin 
are confined to the basal parts, so that there is no " lobe " to 
the fin such as occurs in the order Stylopterygii. 

The scales are thin, oval and overlapping ; in a few cases they 
are absent, or exist in the form of hard scutes. Only in extinct 
transitional forms such as Pholidophorus are rhombic scales with 
superficial layer of ganoin present, and the same applies to the 
fulcra of the fins. The skeleton is mainly bony ; the vertebrae are 
distinct, and the centra are usually hollow in front and behind 
(amphiccelous). In most cases the hind end of the vertebral 
column is uptilted, although the outline of the tail fin is 
symmetrical (homocercal) with an abruptly truncated or forked 
hind edge. The vomerine bone is single, never paired ; there is 
no splenial bone in the mandible and no exact equivalent to 
the coronoid bone of the Astylopterygii ; there is a supraoccipital 
bone in the cranium. The infraclavicular bone of the shoulder- 
girdle is wanting. 

The spiracle is closed. The heart has no con us arteriosus 
(except Albula) ; the intestine has no spiral valve (except Ghiro- 
centrus) ; the optic nerves cross one another beneath the brain 
and do not form an optic chiasma. 



The Teleostei or Neichthyes are divided into two main sections 
or " grades," the Physostomi and the Physoclisti. In the fishes 
of the grade Physostomi the air-bladder is usually present, and 
remains in open communication with the alimentary canal by a 
tube called the " pneumatic duct." The fishes are, on the whole, 
less specialised than those of the grade Physoclisti. Included 
in the Physostomi are the Salmoni-clupeiformes or Isospondyli — • 
the Salmons, Herrings and allied fishes ; the Cyprini-siluriformes 
or Ostariophysi — the Carps and Cat-fisbes ; the Anguilliformes or 
Apodes — the Eels ; and the Esoeiformes or Haplomi — the Pikes 
and their allies. 

Salmoni-clupeiformes (Salmons, Herrings, etc.). 

The Salmoni-clupeiformes or Isospondyli are the most primitive 
of the Teleostei, and approach the Ganoid fishes (e. g. Amia) more 
closely than do other Teleosteans. The suborder includes the 
Tarpons, Herrings, Mormyrids, Osteoglossids, Salmons and 
Trouts. The anterior vertebrse are simple and not converted 
into a mechanical link-work for connecting the air-bladder with 
the ear as they are in the next suborder, the Cyprini-siluriformes. 
The maxillary bone forms usually part of the margin of the upper 
jaw j there are no barbels. The pelvic fins have many rays and 
are abdominal in position, i. e. are set some distance behind the 
pectoral fins. The shoulder-girdle is connected with the back 
of the cranium by the post-temporal bone, and has a mesocoracoid 
element (see girdle of Salmon, 277), a bone found in the pectoral 
girdle of all Ganoids, but among the Teleostei in the Salmoni- 
clupeiformes and the Cyprini-siluriformes only. None of the fins 
have spinous fin-rays. 

The families Leptolepidse (e. g. Leptolepis dubius, 232), Pholi- 
dophoridse and Oligopleuridse include small fishes which occupy 
a low position among the Neichthyes, and connect them with the 
Amioid fishes. These fishes are extinct, and their remains are 
found in Mesozoic strata. In all of them there is an aperture in 
the middle of each centrum through which passed the more or less 




persistent notochord. In the Pholidophoridse the scales are 
rhombic, in the other two families they are cycloid. The fins 
have fulcra in the Pholidophoridse and Oligopleuridse, but not in 
the Leptolepidee. 
Elopidfe. Of the living Teleostean fishes the most primitive are the 
Elopidse. This family includes the Tarpon of Florida {Megalops 
atlanticus, 1110, Floor-case 27, and fig. 47), the Ox-eye (Mega- 
lops cyprinoides, 234), the Ten-pounder (Elops saurus, 233), 
and some extinct forms. The scales are not deciduous as they 
are in the Herrings (Clupea), the dorsal and anal fins are small, 
the former with short base and situated about the middle of the 
length of the body ; the pectoral fins are set low down the sides 
of the body ; the pelvic fins have 10-16 fin-rays. The mouth is 
wide and terminal, the teeth are minute and uniform in character. 
There is a single median jugular plate, a bone which occurs in 
no other living Teleostean fishes. 

^w /.J^rtkkXl i ' ) yyyy yyyyyy) 

Fi«. 47. — Tarpon, Megalops atlanticus. 
(From Boulenger, Camb. Nat. Hist., vii, 1904, after Goode.) 

Elops saurus (233) is a fish of wide distribution in tropical and 
sub-tropical seas, and very common in the open sea along the 
coast of southern United States, where it is known as the " Ten- 
pounder." The fish is not valued as food except by such people 
as the Hawaiians and Japanese who eat fishes raw. The young 
are delicate and ribbon-shaped, like those of the Lady-fish 
(Albula) and the Eel. 

Megalops differs from Elops in having large scales (235), 
a large, short head, with oblique mouth of moderate size, and 
with a projecting lower jaw; the last ray of the dorsal fin is 


produced into a long filament. The Tarpon {Megalops atlanticus, Tarpon. 

1110, Floor-case 27, also fig. 47) is a littoral fish of warm 

American seas, and often enters rivers and even inland lakes. It 

is carnivorous, feeding on Mullets and similar fishes, and grows 

to a length of seven feet or more and a weight of over 100 lbs. 

It disports itself noisily in the water, frequently leaping seven or 

eight feet out of the water and returning head first, with the body 

bent in the form of an arch, and with the gill-covers widely open 

displaying the red gills. The Tarpon ranks as the greatest of 

the game fishes and when hooked affords good sport ; it is 

caught by rod and line from rowing boats. 

The Ox-eye, Megalops cyprinoides, 234, differs from the Tarpon Ox-eye. 
in being a less slender fish ; the dorsal fin is not so far back and 
has more fin-rays (about 20), as also has the anal fin (about 25). 
Like the Tarpon it readily accommodates itself to fresh water. 
When the fishes are small, of about the size of Mackerel, they 
swim about in shoals, but when larger they are solitary. The 
Ox-eye rarely attains a length of five feet. It affords most 
excellent eating, in marked contrast with the Tarpon, and in 
some parts of India it is preserved in tanks or ponds for table 

The Albulidse [e.g. the Lady-fish, 236) have a small mouth, 
with thick lips, and overhung by the bluntly-pointed snout. 
There are large crushing teeth in the inner parts of the mouth, 
and minute, pointed teeth on the bones of the jaws. As in the 
Elopidse the pectoral fins are set low down, the pelvic fins have 
10-16 fin-rays ; the tail fin is well-developed and forked, but 
the haemal arches are more or less fused at the base of the tail, 
whereas in the Elopidse they remain separate. There are only 
two living genera, Albula, the Lady-fish, and Bathythrissa, a 
deep-sea fish of Japan ; remains of Albula (Pisodus oweni) occur 
in the London Clay of Sheppey. 

The Lady-fish, Albula conorhynchus, 236, is a shore fish and Lady-fisl: 
subsists mainly upon bivalve molluscs, for the crushing of which 
its central dentition is well adapted. Full-grown specimens of 
the Lady-fish range from 20 to 30 inches in length, and from 
3 to 10 lbs. in weight. Opinions differ as to the value of its 
flesh as food. The fish gives good sport to the angler when 


once it has been induced to take the bait, which is a live mussel 
or cockle left in a position where the fish may be expected to 
come. The young larval forms are band-shaped and transparent, 
and shrink considerably in size at the end of the larval stage 
of existence. 

In Sharks, Lung-fishes, Sturgeons, Gar-pikes and Bow-fins 
there occurs in advance of the ventricle of the heart a small 
chamber called the " conus arteriosus," the walls of which are 
of striped muscle-fibre, like those of the ventricle, and the 
interior of which is provided with watch-pocket valves preventing 
the blood from passing back into the ventricle. In Teleostean 
fishes generally there is no conus arteriosus; the ventral aorta, 
however, is enlarged at its posterior end, where it comes off from 
the ventricle, and this part is known as the " bulbus arteriosus .^ 
Its walls are composed of elastic tissue and plain or unstriped 
muscle-fibre. In the heart of Albula there is a vestigial conus 
arteriosus, with striped muscle-fibres, and provided on the inside 
with two rows of valves, two large ones in the front row, and 
two large and two small in the second row. Albula is thus 
interesting as being a connecting link between the Teleostean 
fishes generally on the one hand and the Astylopterygian fishes, 
such as the Gar-pike and the Bow-fin, on the other. 
Mor- The Mormyridee are fresh-water fishes of tropical Africa, of 

y ' curious aspect, and very variable in the form of the head. The 
scales are small and cycloid ; the mouth is often very small and 
, in some cases (e. g. Gnathonemus curvirostris, 242) set at the 
end of an elongated snout ; it is bounded above by the premaxillary 
bones, which are fused together. On each side of the cranium is 
a large vacuity occupied by a thick-walled air-vesicle, but in the 
dried skull having the form of a foramen leading into the cranial 
cavity and loosely covered by a large, thin lamina of bone, the 
supratemporal. The gill-opening is reduced to a small slit. The 
eyes are more or less reduced and are often indistinct beneath 
a thick, semi-transparent skin ; the brain is large in proportion 
to the size of the body. In Mormyrus and Gymnarchus and 
some other genera a feeble electric organ occurs on each side of 
the tail, formed by a modification of the tail muscles into a 



gelatinous substance enclosed in regularly arranged connective 
tissue compartments and supplied with enlarged spinal nerves. 
In all except Gymnarchus there are slender bones, known as 
Gemmingerian bones, occurring on each side of the tail, above 
and below the electric organ, the equivalents of which bones have 
not been recognised in any other fishes. The flesh of Mormyrid 
fishes is good, and one species, Mormyrops deliciosus, 241, 
derives its specific name from its excellent flavour. Mormyrus 
oxyrhynchus (238, and fig. 48) was venerated by the ancient 
Egyptians, and the outline of the fish appears frequently in their 
pictures. The long-snouted forms like Gnathonemus curvirostris, 
242, search for their food in the mud and beneath stones, the 
finger-like process on the chin acting as a " feeler," the sensi- 

Fig. 48. — Mormyrus oxyrhynchus. 
(From Gunther, " Study of Fishes.") 

tiveness of which compensates for the reduction in the power of 
distinct vision. The species with larger mouths seize small 
fishes and crustaceans. Gymnarchus niloticus, 243, of the Nile 
and rivers of West Africa, has a long, eel-like body, without 
caudal, anal, and pelvic fins. The dorsal fin extends the whole 
length of the body. The jaws have well-developed, chisel-edged 
teeth. The air-bladder is cellular and very extensible, and is an 
important organ of respiration. Gymnarchus moves through the 
water by the action of its dorsal fin only ; it can move backwards 
as readily as forwards, and when retreating uses its tapering tail 
as a feeler. The fish makes a floating nest, which the male 
guards jealously ; the young have external gill-filaments and 


a large, pendulous yolk-sac (see 1162, Cabinet-case 29, and 
fig. 49). 

Moon- The Moon-eye, Hyodon tergisus, 244, of the fresh waters of 

e y e - North America east of the Rocky Mountains, constitutes a special 
family by itself, the Hyodontidse. It is a silvery fish about 
12 to 18 inches long, with a large mouth with strong, sharp 
teeth, and some particularly large teeth on the tongue. There 
are teeth on the parasphenoid bone, a primitive feature which is 
common to this fish and Elops, Megalops, Albula, Arapaima, 
Osteoglossum, Notopterus, and most Mormyridge, but which occurs 
in no other living Teleostean fishes. 

Notop- The species of Notopterus, constituting the family Notopteridse, 
are strange-looking fishes with a much compressed body, a short- 


Fig. 49. — Young Qymnarchus niloticus, showing the large 

yolk-sack (y.s.) and the long external gills (e.g.). 
(From Bridge, Camh. Nat. Hist., vii, 1904, after Budgett.) 

based dorsal fin and a very extensive anal fin, which is continuous 
with the caudal fin. They are fresh-water or brackish- water 
fishes found in the marshes and lakes of Africa, India and the 
Malay Peninsula, and feeding on worms and insects. One of 
the largest species is Notopterus chitala of India (245), which 
grows to three or four feet in length ; another well-known species 
is Notopterus kapirat (246), also from India and the Malay 
district. The scales are thin and cycloid, and extend over the 

Fig. 50. — Arapaima gigas. 
(From Boulenger, Camb. Nat. Hist., vii, 1904.) 

skeleton of Arapaima, 1035, Table-case 50). The Osteoglossidse 
are fresh-water fishes of the tropics. The Arapaima (Arapaima 
gigas, fig. 50, 1033 and 1034, Table-case 51, and skeleton, 1035, 
Table-case 50), locally known as the " Pirarucu/' is a great fish 
of the rivers of Brazil and the Guianas, attaining a length of 
15 feet and a weight of 400 lbs. or more. The larger specimen 
in Table-case 51 is a little under 8 feet in length. The scales 
are large (250, Wall-case 7), and in the living fish are greenish- 
brown, with a reddish hind border. The Arapaima is highly- 
esteemed as an article of food ; the flesh is cured and salted in 
a manner similar to that of Cod-fish, and is an important article 
of local commerce. In the floor of the mouth of the fish is a 
bone covered with small teeth of uniform size (249) which the 
natives use as a rasp for scraping into a pulp the flesh of gourds 
and similar vegetables. 


head and gill-covers. The pelvic fins are reduced or absent. 
The air-bladder is large and complex in structure ; it is connected 
with the ear by forwardly directed processes which enlarge at 
their ends into air-vesicles embedded in the side of the hinder 
part of the cranium, and it sends also a pair of processes back 
into the tail region. 

The Osteoglossidse are a sharply delimited family distinguished Osteo- 
by the sculpturing of the superficial bones of the skull, the robust 
character of the cheek-plates, the meeting of the parietal bones, 
the sutural union of the nasal bones with one another and with 
the anterior ends of the frontal bones, and the presence of 
a stout, peg-like process of the parasphenoid for articulation 
with the entopterygoid. The scales are large and thick, and with 
a mosaic-like structure. The dorsal and anal fins are set back, 
and their bases are more or less extended. The trunk vertebrae 
have stout transverse processes for the attachment of the ribs (see 

- • '• 


Osteoglossum and Scleropages are closely allied genera, the 
latter with a longer body and with more extended dorsal and 
anal fins than the former ; in both the mouth-cleft as seen from 
the side is long and oblique, and the lower jaw is prominent and 
bears a pair of barbels. Scleropages leichardti (247) is the 
" Barramunda " of the Rivers of Queensland, although the name 
is indiscriminately used for this fish and the Ceratodus (171> 
Wall-case 6). Another species of Scleropages occurs in Sumatra 
and Borneo ; Osteoglossum occurs in Brazil and the Guianas. 

Heterotis (248) is a small-mouthed fish common in the Nile, 
Gambia and other rivers of tropical Africa. The air-bladder is 
cellular and probably is used as a breathing organ, and there is 
an accessory respiratory organ, spirally coiled, above the fourth 
gill arch. During the breeding season the fish constructs a large 
nest in a part of the swamp where the depth is about two feet,, 
and here it rears the young, which at one period of their 
development breathe by external gill-filaments. 

[upeidae. The Clupeidse are an important family of fishes including the 
Herrings, Shads and Anchovies ; they are principally coast fishes, 
widely spread in the temperate and tropical zones, and some of 
them entering fresh waters communicating with the sea. The 
dorsal fin is small and set nearly in the middle of the back ; there 
is no adipose dorsal fin. The scales are thin and readily shed ; 
the gill-opening is usually very wide, and the opercular apparatus 
is complete. The parietal bones are separated by the supra- 
occipital; in most cases the maxilla assists the premaxilla in 
bounding the upper border of the gape; the teeth are feeble 
(except Chirocentrus), and two surmaxillary bones are usually 
present. The postclavicle is applied to the outer side of the 
clavicular bone, and not to the inner side as in the Salmonidse. 
The pelvic fins have 6-11 fin-rays. The stomach is produced 
bark into a blind sac; the air bladder in some cases (<?. g. Herring) 
opens directly to the exterior in the vicinity of the anus. Inter- 
muscular bones are numerous ; the ribs are mostly sessile, being 
inserted behind the transverse processes. The family is well 
represented in Cretaceous and Tertiary strata. 

Dorab. The Dorab, Chirocentrus dorab, 253, common in the Indian 
and Western Pacific Oceans, is a brilliantly silvery fish growing to 


three feet in length, with a long-, strongly compressed body and a 
saw-like edge on the belly. The dorsal fin is short-based and 
opposite to the anal, which is long. One of the most interesting 
features of Chirocentrus is the presence of a spiral valve in the 
intestine ; such a valve is present in all Ganoid fishes, and the 
occurrence of the valve, even in a reduced form, in this Teleostean 
fish is of interest as pointing to the relationship between the lower 
Teleostean fishes and the Ganoids. Poriheus, Ichthijodectes and 
Saurodon are Cretaceous fishes allied to Chirocentrus, but of much 
greater size and with the teeth lodged in sockets ; by some 
authorities these fishes are placed in a separate family, the Sauro- 

Included within the genus Clupea are the Herring, Pilchard, 
Sprat and Shad, fishes of northern distribution, with deciduous 
scales, a row of ridge-scales extending along the lower edge of the 
body from the shoulder girdle to the anal fin, a forked tail, a feeble 
dentition, and no lateral line. Most of the species are food fishes, 
but some of the tropical species are poisonous. The Herring, Herring. 
Clupea harengus, 255, is found on both European and American 
sides of the North Atlantic, and is especially abundant in the 
North Sea and off Norway. It may thus be regarded as a 
northern and a cold water fish. The "Herring" of the North 
Pacific is of another species, Clupea pallasi. The Herring fisheries of 
the North Sea take place during the spawning season, which reaches 
its height in June off Shetland, and in November off Lowestoft. 
The fishing fleets move southwards as the centre of shoaling shifts 
from point to point. The spawn of the Herring, unlike that of 
most other food fishes, even the allied Pilchard and Sprat, sinks 
to the bottom ; but the fish are mostly caught near the surface in 
drift-nets, which may be more than a mile in length for each boat. 
About 8,000,000 cwts. of Herrings, valued at more than 
£.2,000,000, are annually landed in Great Britain. The largest 
Herrings come from Loch Fyne, in Scotland. 

The little fishes that go by the name of Whitebait consist of White- 
the fry of Herrings and Sprats, both of which have a predilection bait - 
for brackish water. The Thames Whitebait consists chiefly of 


young Sprats during the winter and young Herrings during the 

'ilchard. The Pilchard, Clupea pilchardus, 263, unlike the Herring, 

is a warm water fish, distributed from Cornwall and the South of 
Ireland to Madeira aud the Mediterranean. It is taken in drift- 
nets and seines, and is fished for near the coast during the feeding 
migrations, and not when spawning. The fishery fluctuates greatly, 
but the Cornish take is rarely less than 100,000 cwts. per annum, 
valued at £30,000. The Pilchard is smaller than the Herring and 
may be distinguished by its having well-marked radiating ridges 
on the gill-cover ; another test common among the Cornish 
fishermen is practised by holding the fish by the tip of its dorsal 
fin : the Pilchard's body hangs horizontally, but that of the 
Herring dips slightly down at the head end, since the dorsal fin is 
set a little farther back in that fish than in the Pilchard. The 
fishes known as Sardines are young Pilchards. The Sardine 
fishery of the West coast of France is a valuable one, but is 
subject to great fluctuations, and a scarcity of the fish has at times 
given rise to a critical situation on the French coast. 

Sprat. The Sprat, Clupea sprattus, 264, is a small species of Clupea, 

generally distributed around the British Isles and the coasts 
of continental Europe. It may be distinguished from young 
Herrings by having no teeth on the vomerine bone, and by having 
only a single air-vesicle in the' ear instead of two; careful 
dissection is required for the application of this latter test, but it 
is the most reliable one that can be adopted in discriminating 
between Sprat Whitebait and Herring Whitebait. 

Of the Shads, two are caught on the coasts and in the 
estuaries of Britain, the Allis Shad, Clupea alosa, 256, and the 
Thwaite Shad, Clupea finta, 257 ; there is no regular fishery for 
Shad in British waters as there is in the Rhine and some of the 
other large rivers of continental Europe. The average size of the 
Allis Shad is that of the specimen exhibited (3 lbs.), the 
Thwaite Shad is usually smaller. The Thwaite and Allis may be 
distinguished by the former having 21-27 stout, rigid gill-rakers 
on the first gill arch and the latter 60-80 very fine, long and 
flexible gill-rakers en the first arch (259 and 258) . 


SHADS. 93 

The American Shad {Clupea sapidissima) is closely allied to 
our own Shads, and its flesh is said to be superior in flavour. 
The United States Fisheries Commission has achieved great 
success in its efforts to propagate the Shad in nurseries and to 
liberate the little fishes on hatching, with the result that the 
Shad is now declared to be one of the best and cheapest fishes in 
the American market. The Commission has also been successful 
in transplanting the Shad from the Atlantic coast of North 
America to the Pacific coast, in the waters of which it did not 
previously exist, and where it now abounds from Puget Sound 
southwards to Point Concepcion, ascending the rivers to spawn in 
May as it does on its native coast. In consequence of the 
attention that has been bestowed upon it, the Clupea sapidissima 
is commonly dubbed the " Commission Shad." 

Another important American fish is the Menhaden or Moss- 
banker, Clupea menhaden, common on the Atlantic coast of the 
United States. It is a coarse and bony fish, rarely eaten when 
adult, but valuable on account of the rich oil which it yields in 
abundance ; the refuse after the oil has been extracted from the 
fish is used as a manure for the corn-fields ; the fresh fish is 
largely used as bait. 

Hyperlophus (270) is a genus of fishes found at the present 
day in the rivers and on the coasts of Chili and New South Wales, 
and occurring in a fossil state in the Upper Cretaceous rocks of 
Syria, Southern Europe and South America, and in the Eocene 
shales of the Green River, Wyoming. It is distinguished from 
the genus Clupea by having not only a row of ventral ridge-scales, 
but a row of dorsal ridge-scales extending from the back of the 
head to the dorsal fin. 

The Hickory-Shad, Chatoessus or Dorosoma, 267, is a deep- 
bodied fish of the rivers and estuaries of Eastern America, Eastern 
Asia, and Australia, with small, toothless mouth, a reduced 
maxillary bone, and a suprabranchial accessory organ of respira- 
tion over the fourth gill arch. The stomach is muscular and 
thickened, and has the form of a hickory nut, whence the name 
Hickory-shad given to these fishes by the Americans ; the name 
is applied in particular to the species C. cepedianum of the rivers 
and estuaries of the Eastern United States. The belly is serrated, 






the last ray of the dorsal fin prolonged and whip-like, the gill- 
rakers are fine and form a strainer for the mud in which these 
fishes find their food. 

The Anchovy, Engraulis encrasicholus, 268, has no ridge-scales; 
the body scales are large, there is no lateral line, the snout is 
conical and projects beyond the front of the lower jaw, the mouth 
cleft is large, the maxillary bone long and slender, and the pre- 
maxillary small. The European Anchovy is largely preserved either 
in oil or packed in small barrels with salt, bay-leaves and spices, or 
the flesh is made into a paste or sauce for use as a relish with other 
fish served as food. The Anchovy is especially abundant in the 
Mediterranean, but occurs also in numbers in the Zuyder Zee and 
other parts of Holland ; it does not occur regularly in British 

Coilia nasus, 269, a fish of the Indian and China Seas, is allied 
to the Anchovy ; it is of larger size and has a long tapering tail 
and a long-based anal fin continued on to the tail. Two or three 
of the uppermost fin-rays of the pectoral fin are prolonged and 
freely branched, and there is a remarkable backward extension of 
the maxilla which is toothed for its whole length in spite of the 
fact that only the anterior portion of that bone engages with the 
lower jaw. 

The Milk-fish, Ghanos salmoneus, 266, departs from the typical 
Clupeoids in the reduction in the size of the mouth, the absence 
of teeth in the jaws, and a number of other features of the skull. 
The tail fin is deeply forked and has a scaly lamella at the base of 
each lobe ; there is a distinct lateral line, and an accessory 
branchial organ behind and above the gills. The fish is very swift 
in the water, and grows to about 4 feet in length. It is abundant 
in the Gulf of California, the Indian Ocean and Polynesian seas ; 
it is largely used as food in Hawaii, where it is known as the 

The Salmonidse are an important family of fishes having a small 
adipose fin, a thick, fat-laden fin without fin-rays, between the 
dorsal fin and the tail. The pectoral fins are inserted low down 
the sides of the body, the post-clavicular bone is applied to the 
inner side of the clavicle ; there are no barbels, the margin of the 
upper jaw is supported by both the premaxillary and the maxillary 


bones, and there is a single surmaxilla. Most of the fresh-water 
forms are peculiar to the temperate and arctic regions of the 
northern hemisphere, but one [Reti-opinna) occurs in New Zealand ; 
most of the purely marine forms are from the deep sea. Many 
species are anadromous in habit, i. e. living in the sea, but entering 
fresh water to spawn and descending again to the sea afterwards. 

The genus Salmo is one of great interest, not only because of 
the value of the fishes of the genus for purposes of food and the 
sport which their capture affords, but because of their plasticity 
and ready response to altered conditions of life. As a rule the 
fresh-water forms are brown and the marine forms bright and 
silvery, and the change from the one colour to the other may, in 
the migratory forms, be observed in the same individual at 
different periods of its life. In the non-migratory forms the 
colours are fairly constant while the fish remains in the same 
waters, but by transferring to new localities brown forms may 
become silvery and silvery ones brown. If the colouring of the 
body be disregarded the British species of Salmo may be counted 
as three in number : — Salmo solar, the Salmon and its varieties, 
Salmo trutta, including all the Trouts, such as Salmon Trout, Bull 
Trout, Great Lake Trout, Brook Trout, and Salmo alpinus, 
including all the Charrs. For fuller details of the varieties the 
visitor is referred to the series exhibited in Cabinet-case 43, and 
to the specimens in the Wall-case in the British Collection at the 
West end of the Bird Gallery. 

The true Salmon, Salmo solar, 276, is confined to the northern Salmon, 
hemisphere between latitudes 75° and 41° or 43° N. ; it occurs 
in America and Asia as well as in Europe, and does not exist in 
the Mediterranean and the rivers flowing into it. In Britain the 
Salmon comes up from the sea into fresh water usually from 
September or October to January. The nest or redd is dug in the 
gravel by the female, and after being fertilised by the male, the 
eggs are buried. The newly hatched fry, or Alevins (272), 
become free about 90 days after the eggs are laid ; they grow to 
4 or 6 inches in length, when they are known as Parr or Pink 
(273) ; the body is marked by vertical blue bars and large spots 
and is not silvery. The fish either in the first year, or more 
usually in the second year, lose the parr marks, and become Smolts 


(274) and commence their descent to the sea. They are then 
about 8 inches long and silvery in colour. On its first return 
from the sea the fish is known as a Grilse (275) or Salmon Peal; 
such a fish would weigh 3 lbs. if caught in the river in June, but 
a Grilse that had delayed its return to fresh water till the end of 
July would weigh 9 or 10 lbs. if in good condition. The term 
" Salmon " is only applied to a fish on its second and subsequent 
ascents. A Kelt is a spent Salmon, one which has spawned and 
is returning to the sea. A Kipper is a lean Salmon which has 
failed to descend to the sea after spawning. In mature male 
Salmons the upper and lower jaws become enlarged at the front 
and bent over, the lower jaw being particularly hooked, and 
giving a sinister appearance to the head. 

The Salmon only comes up the rivers to spawn ; it does not 
feed in fresh water, judging by the absence of food-material in the 
stomachs of fishes examined, and it is this circumstance which 
renders so unaccountable the fatal fascination exercised by that 
wonderful tuft of feathers and coloured wool which anglers term 
the "fly". The pink colour of the flesh of the Salmon is 
attributed to its feeding on crustaceans such as shrimps and 

The excellence of the Salmon as a food fish has rendered 
Salmon-fisheries the object of constant attention on the part of 
the legislature from the earliest times of which we have any record. 
The fisheries form an exceedingly valuable part of the natural 
wealth of the country. In Scotland the rateable value of the 
Salmon-fisheries in those districts where Fishery Boards have 
been formed was assessed in the year 1898 at over 56107,000. 
The Salmon carried to market by the railways and steamers of 
Scotland amounted to 4,230 tons in 1895 and to 2,093 tons in 
1898. The heaviest British Salmon? on authentic record is one 
taken in the Tay which weighed 70 lbs. It must be borne in 
mind, however, that some of the large fish which the Tay anglers 
call Salmon are really Bull Trout, and the 70 lb. fish may have 
been such a fish. In the British Pavilion, at the end of the Bird 
Gallery, is exhibited a Bull Trout from the Tay weighing 55 lbs. 

The Salmon 276 in Wall-case 7 of this Gallery weighed 33 lbs. 
when caught ; it was taken in the Tay at Perth in July. 

TROUT. 97 

The Sea Trout or Salmon Trout, 279, a migratory form of Sea 
Salmo trutta coming up from the sea into fresh water to spawn, r 
is a coarser fish than the Salmon (Salmo salar) ; the flesh is not 
so pink, is of drier texture, and is less richly flavoured. Large 
specimens of the Sea Trout are known as Bull Trout. The Sea 
Trout may be distinguished from the Salmon by its smaller and 
more numerous scales, there being 14 to 16 scales in a line passing 
downward and forward from the hind edge of the base of the 
adipose fin as far as the lateral line, not counting the lateral line 
scale, whereas in the Salmon the number is 11 or 12. The root 
of the tail is stouter and of more clumsy appearance in a Sea 
Trout than in a Salmon, and the hind border of the tail fin 
changes from the concave to the flat, and ultimately to the 
slightly convex shape, earlier in the Trout than in the Salmon. 
The anal fin is larger and set farther back, and the anterior fin- 
rays relatively longer than in the Salmon. The gill-cover has 
the hind edge more angulate and less semicircular than in the 
Salmon, and has usually more spots upon it. The side of the body 
has more black spots below the lateral line than that of the 
Salmon. When the mouth is closed the hind end of the upper 
jaw (maxilla) is farther back than in the Salmon, and the first 
branchial arch has 17 or 18 gill-rakers, whereas that of the Salmon 
has usually 20. The breeding habits of the Sea Trout are much 
the same as those of the Salmon ; the Smolts are readily distin- 
guishable from Salmon Smolts by having yellow pectoral fins. 
The Grilse of the Sea Trout is known as Phinok. 

The Brook Trout or Brown Trout (280), the variety fario of the Brook 
species Salmo trutta, is a form which is confined to fresh water, Trout. 
and lives in brooks, streams and ponds of European countries. 
In Britain it does not run much over 10 lbs. in weight; in the 
river Thames in the year 1907 Trout of 8 lbs. were caught on 
three occasions ; in the same year a Trout was caught in the 
New River weighing 18 lbs., but fish of this size are very 

Salmo alpinus includes the Charrs of Britain, varieties of Charr. 
which from Buttermere, Windermere, and Sutherland are shown in 
Cabinet-case 43. The Swiss Charr, 284, the " Omble chevalier " 
of the Swiss lakes, is a red Charr of the variety umbla. The 



American Charr, Salmo fontinalis, 281, which the Americans 
call their " Brook Trout," has been introduced with success into 
Britain, as also has the Rainbow Trout, Salmo irideus, 282, but 
the colours of the acclimatised Rainbow Trout are not so brilliant 
as those of the fishes in their native mountain streams in the 
Rocky Mountains. 

The Namaycush or Lake Trout of North America, Salmo 
(Cristivomer) namaycush, 285, is a non-migratory Trout, with 
deeply-forked tail fin and strong teeth, inhabiting all the Great 
Lakes of the northern part of North America. The fish is grey, 
not brown as are most non-migratory Trout ; it is a sluggish, 
heavy-looking, ravenous fish, attaining an average weight of 15 to 
Quinnat. 20 lbs. The North Pacific Salmon or Quinnat Salmon (1099, near 
Table 25), has more fin-rays in the anal fin than our Sahno, and 
is placed in a separate genus, Onchorhynchus. It is migratory, 
and similar in habits to our Salmon and Sea Trout. A large 
proportion of the tinned Salmon that is sold in England is the 
flesh of the. Quinnat Salmon of British Columbia and Alaska. 
The average weight of the fish is 22 lbs., but individuals of 70 to 
100 lbs. are occasionally taken. 

The genus Coregonus includes the various White-fish, fishes of 
the northern parts of temperate Europe, Asia, and North America, 


Pig. 51. — Vendace, Coregonus vandesius. 

and mostly lacustrine and rigidly localised, although a few are 
anadromous in habit. The mouth is smaller aDd shorter than 
that of Salmo, the maxillary bone not extending back below the 


eye; the teeth are minute or wanting; the tail fin is deeply 
forked; the scales are moderately large, and the ova are small. 
The commoner species are Coregonus oxyrhynchus (291), the 
Houting of the seas and rivers of Holland, Germany, and 
Denmark; Coregonus vandesius, the Vendace (287, fig. 51), of 
fresh-water lochs of Scotland, particularly Loch Maben ; Coregonus 
pollan (288), the Pollan, of the fresh waters of Ireland, particularly p ]lan 
Lough Neagh, where at certain seasons of the year it used to be ^ an 4 
an important marketable fish ; and Coregonus clupeoides, the ' 

Gwyniad, 290, of Wales, the Lake District and Loch Lomond. 
The name Gwyniad is usually restricted to the variety of Coregonus 
clupeoides that occurs in Lake Bala in North Wales. The 
variety found in Lo,ch Lomond is called the Powan, and that of 
Haweswater and Ullswater the Schelly or Skelly. The "Fera" 
of the Swiss Lakes (289) is represented in Bavaria, North 
Prussia and Sweden by varieties which are known respectively as 
Bodenrenke, Marane and Sik. Coregonus clupeiformis (Argyro- 
somus artedi of the Americans), 286, is the well-known Lake 
Herring or Cisco of the great Lakes Erie and Ontario of North 

The Grayling, Thymallus vulgaris, 293, of the clear streams and Grayling. 
lakes of Central and Northern Europe is distinguished by its high 
dorsal fin, which is supported by about twenty fin-rays, the most 
anterior ones of which are simple and unbranched. The fish 
derives its generic name from its emitting an odour resembling 
that of thyme. The Grayling breeds in April and May, whereas 
Salmon and Trout breed in October to January, and it thus affords 
sport during the close time for the usual Salmonoids. In English 
streams it grows commonly to 2 or 3 lbs. in weight. Thymallus 
vulgaris is confined to Europe, but there are other species, one, 
known as the " Poisson bleu/' in Canada. 

The Argentines are deep-sea Salmonoids found in the Mediter- 
ranean, the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans. The common 
Mediterranean species is Argentina sphyrcena ; a northern form, 
Argentina hebridica (295), found off the North of Ireland, 
Scotland, and more particularly off Norway, finds its way 
occasionally to the English markets. The Argentines are some- 
times called Siel-Smelts. 

H 2 



Smelt. The Smelt, Osmerus eperlanus, 294, is a delicate, semitrans- 

parent fish, which emits a peculiar and not unpleasant odour. In 
habits it is gregarious, and it is essentially estuarine, at least in 
Great Britain, and frequents only those rivers which enter the sea 
through long winding channels in extensive mud flats. The 
Smelt rarely exceeds nine inches in length : as a delicate table fish 
it takes high rank. 

The Candle-fish, Thaleichthys pacificus, 296, a fish about nine 
inches in length, ascends the Columbia River, Fraser River, and 
streams of Southern Alaska in the spring in immense numbers 
for the purpose of spawning. Its flesh is white and of excellent 
flavour. It is so charged with oil that the dried fish, with a 
cotton wick drawn through the body, will burn like a candle. 
The local name is Eulachon or Oolachan. 

Capelin. The Capelin, Mallotus villosus, 292, is a fish of the coasts of 
Arctic America and Kamtschatka, six to nine inches in length, 
with large paired fins, a feeble dentition, a prominent mandible, 
and with small scales, four longitudinal bands of which become 
greatly produced in the males and cause the body to look shaggy, 
whence the specific name villosus. 

Salanx (297) is a small, slender, transparent, whitish little fish, 
two to seven inches in length, which lives at a considerable depth 
in the sea, and ascends the rivers of China and Japan at certain 
seasons to spawn. The fish is called Ice-fish on account of its 
transparency. The " Whitebait " of Canton consists of Salanx 
chinensis, and is considered a great delicacy. 

Alepo- The Alepocephalidse constitute a characteristic family of deep- 

cephalus. sea fi s h es having affinities with the Salmonidse and the Clupeidae. 
They are of remarkable appearance and wide distribution, 
occurring between the depths of 300 and 2,000 fathoms in many 
parts of the world. The dorsal fin is set far back and there is no 
adipose fin. Alepocephalus rostratvs (298) of the Mediterranean 
has cycloid scales, but scales are wanting in some of the genera. 
Aulostomatomorpha (984, Cabinet-case 44?) of the Indian Ocean 
has the snout much produced, and a uniformly luminous head. 
The skeleton of these fishes is feebly ossified. 

Stomias. The Stomiatidse are aberrant, deep-sea fishes, readily dis- 
tinguishable from other deep-sea fishes by having the maxilla 



longer than the premaxilla, and beset with teeth. Scales are 
absent or are exceedingly delicate; luminous spots, regularly 
arranged, are present in most of the species. The eyes are large, 
a hyoid barbel is frequently present, the gill-opening is wide, the 
opercular skeleton reduced. An adipose fin is present in some 
genera. The fishes are predatory and some have a formidable 
dentition. The chief genera are Stomias (299), Malacosteus 
(fig. 5, 979, Deep-sea Series, Cabinet-case 44), Chauliodus (fig. 8, 
975, Cabinet-case 44) and Sternoptyx, the last two being by 
some authorities placed in a special family, the Sternoptychidse. 
Within the family Stomiatidse examples occur of the reduction of 
the pectoral fins before the pelvic ; in cases in which the paired 
fins undergo reduction it is almost always the pelvic fins which 
disappear first, e.g. among the Eels, Sand-launces, Blennies and 

The GonorhynchidEe (300) are aberrant fishes, the affinities of h G ° n °^ g 
which are not definitely known; they have been associated by 
various authors with the Cyprinoids, the Scopeloids, and the 
Salmonoids. The body is long and cylindrical, without adipose 
fin. The scales are narrow, small and with spiny edge, deeply 
imbricated, and extending over the cheeks and gill-covers as well 
as over the body. The snout is more or less pointed, with a single 
barbel. The mouth is small and toothless; it is inferior in 
position and is surrounded by thick, fringed lips. 

Cyprini-siluriformes (Carps and Cat-fishes). 

The Cyprini-siluriformes, also known as Ostariophysi, are a 
suborder of fishes which, though many exhibit remarkable 
differences in general appearance, all agree in the coalescence of 
the foremost vertebrae, usually four in number, and the detachment 
of some of their lateral parts to form a link- work known as the 
Weberian ossicles, which serve to connect the air-bladder with 
the ear (see specimen 366 in Wall-case 9). The fishes agree 
with those of the previous suborder, the Salmoni-clupeiformes, in 
the presence of a mesocoracoid bone in the pectoral girdle, a bone 
which does not occur in any of the suborders that follow. 
The fins are without spines, or the dorsal and pectoral fins may 

case 8. 



have a single spine each. The great majority of the fresh-water 
fishes of the world belong to this suborder, the principal forms 
included being the Characinids, the Electric Eel, the Carps and 

The Characinids are fresh-water fishes occurring in Central 
Africa and South America, with the jaws usually well armed with 
teeth, which differ much in shape and arrangement in the genera 
comprised. The body is covered with scales, an adipose dorsal fin 
is often present, and there are no barbels. 
Tiger-fish. The Tiger-fishes, as the species of Hijdrocyon (306) are called, 
are among the most formidable of the Characinidse. They grow 
to the size of the Salmon, and on account of the powerful jaws 
armed with strong teeth, visible when the mouth is closed, and on 
account of their vicious disposition, they are justly dreaded. 
The Tiger-fishes are found in the rivers and lakes of tropical 
Africa, and in the Nile district are known as Kelb-el-Bahr or 
Dogs of the Water. 
Cariba. The Piranha or Cariba, as the species of Serrasalmo (313) and 

Myletes (308) of South America are called, are not less ferocious 
than the Tiger-fishes of Africa. Their bite has been compared to 
the cut of a razor. They abound in some rivers and bite pieces 
of flesh out of the legs of persons entering the water ; the smell 
of blood attracts others in great numbers, and the situation of a 
person swimming becomes very critical. They do not exceed two 
feet in length. One of their principal distinguishing features is 
the serration of the belly. 

A skull of Salminus (311) is exhibited to show the cheek-plates 
and the characters of the dentition. Salminus is an American 
genus, the largest species being the " Dorado " of the Spaniards, 
Salminus orbignianus, which grows to a length of three feet 
and is of predaceous habits, pursuing other fishes moving in shoals. 
Macrodon and Erythrinus (305) of tropical America are examples 
of Characinids not possessing the adipose dorsal fin. 
Nile The Moon-fish of the Nile, Citharinus geoffroyi, is represented 

by a skeleton (314), which shows the feebleness of the dentition 
of this herbivorous fish, and the deep, compressed form of its 
body. The fish is often depicted on the monuments of the 
ancient Egyptians. 




Although the fishes of the family Gymnotidse have long, eel- 
like bodies (fig. 52), and Gijmnotus itself is called the " Electric 
Eel," they are not related to the Eels. The presence of the 
Weberian ossicles in the Gymnotidse and their absence in the Eels 
is alone sufficient to satisfy one that the resemblance is super- 
ficial only. The Gymnotidse are in all probability degraded forms 
of Charaeinidse. They are confined to the fresh waters of Central 
and South America. 

The Electric Eel (315) grows to a length of eight feet. It is 
found in the marshes and shallow parts of rivers of the northern 
part of South America, and renders the fording of such rivers 
dangerous, since the horses frequently fall when they receive an 



Fig. 52. — Electric Eel, Gymnotus clectricus. 

electric shock from the fish. After delivering two or three shocks 
the fish is exhausted, and is harmless for a time, and although 
Humboldt's story of the natives catching Electric Eels by first 
driving horses into the water for the fishes to discharge their 
shocks upon has not been confirmed by later travellers, it may 
nevertheless be based on fact. 

Gymnotus is the only member of the family Gymnotidse which 
possesses electric organs. These organs are composed of modified 
muscular tissue ; they are richly supplied with nerves connected 
with the spinal cord, and they consist of compartments with 
fibrous walls enclosing a stiff jelly, arranged in the form of a band 


along each side of the tail, which constitutes nearly the whole of 
the length of the body, for the anus is set very far forward, under 
the throat. Similar but smaller electric organs occur in the base 
of the anal fin. 
Cypri- The family Cyprinidse, including the Carps and their allies, is 

incise, composed of fishes with a small mouth-opening, and with no teeth 
in the jaws, but by way of compensation the gill-teeth, borne by 
the lower bones of the last gill-arch, are very strongly developed — 
see, for instance, those of the Mahseer, 331, in the upper part of 
the case — and the bones themselves are sharply bent (falciform), 
one of the distinctive features of the family. These pharyngeal 
teeth are disposed in one, two or three rows on each side. The 
body is clothed with scales and there are no bony scutes in the 
skin such as occur in the next family, the Siluridse or Cat-fishes ;. 
there is no adipose dorsal fin. These fishes feed mostly on 
vegetable substances or small animals. 

The Cyprinids are abundant in the fresh waters of the Old 
World and North America ; there are comparatively few species in 
Africa, where they coexist with the Characinids, and they are 
absent from South America, where the Characinids take their 
place as the predominant fresh-water fishes. They do not occur 
in Australia. 
Suckers. The Suckers of the lakes and rivers of North America are 
species of Catostomus (e. g. Catostomus teres, 316) ; they have 
thick, fleshy lips and no barbels ; the dorsal fin extends over a 
considerable portion of the back and the anal fin is short in the 
base. The pharyngeal teeth are numerous and are arranged in a 
single row, forming a kind of comb (317). 

In the Carps, as the various species of the genus Cyprinus are 
called, the pharyngeal teeth are arranged in three series and 
bite against a well-developed hard pad supported by a down- 
growth of bone from the base of the cranium. The Carps are 
indigenous in the temperate regions of Asia, but many have been 
introduced into European waters and have become thoroughly 
Carp. The Common Carp, Cyprinus carpio (318), was introduced 

into Europe in the thirteenth century, and was first brought into 
England in the beginning of the seventeenth century. The Carp 


subsists on vegetable food and small animals, such as aquatic 
insects, small pond-snails and worms, and can live for some time 
out of water. It delights in tranquil waters, particularly those 
with a muddy bottom and partially shaded by trees ; it is a fish of 
sluggish habits except during the breeding season, when it becomes 
very excited and frequently leaps out of the water. The Carp is 
eaten in inland countries, but it is not valued in parts where 
sea fish are obtainable. Carps have been known to live to a great 
age (50 to 100 years), and to attain a weight of 20 to 50 lbs., 
and a length of four feet or more. 

In a state of domestication there have arisen two breeds of Carp 
that tend to lose their scales. In Central Europe there is one 
form known as the Mirror Carp or " Spiegel-karpfen " (320) which 
retains large, bright scales along the side of the body and large 
dull scales on the back, and another form, the Leather Carp or 
" Leder-karpfen " (319), which has very few scales, if any at all, 
and the skin is thick and leathery. 

The Crucian Carp, Cyprinus vulgaris (322), differs from the 
Common Carp in having no barbels, and in the different arrange- 
ment of the pharyngeal teeth. The iris is silvery, whereas in the 
Carp it is golden. This fish rarely exceeds six or seven inches in 
length, but may weigh as much as 2 lbs. The Crucian Carp was 
probably introduced into England from Hamburg, for in the 
earliest references to this as an English fish it is called the 
" Hamburg Carp." The term Crucian is evidently a corruption 
of u Karausche," the German name of the fish. The Prussian 
Carp is but a lean and elongated variety of the Crucian Carp. 

The Gold-fish (323) is a golden yellow or red breed of Carp- 
like fish produced as the result of artificial selection in China and 
Japan ; it has been introduced into Europe and America as an 
ornamental fish for aquaria and ponds in gardens and parks. The 
brilliancy generally diminishes when the fish are kept in the open, 
and they tend to revert to their original greenish colour. Many 
varieties and monstrosities of the Gold-fish have been produced as 
the result of domestication, and, in the case of their tails, of 

The Catla, Catla buchanani (324), is a large Indian fish ; it is 
Carp-like, but the head is more arched between the eyes, there are 








no barbels, the rami of the mandible are loosely connected, and the 
dorsal fin is shorter. The Catla attains a length of six feet and a 
weight of 100 lbs. It ranges through India to the Kistna, and 
eastward through Bengal and Burma to Siam. 
Mahseer. The Mahseer or Mahsir or Mosal, Barbus mosal (329, and 
fig. 53), is recognisable by the strong smooth dorsal spine, seven 
or eight branched rays in the anal fin, the fleshy lips, and the very 
large scales, of which there are 25 to 27 along the lateral line. It 
is the principal freshwater game fish of India, where it occurs 
particularly in mountain streams. The Mahseer attains a weight 
of 250 lbs., although the usual size of fish captured is 12 to 15 lbs. 
Specimens under ten pounds are good table-fish, but the flesh of 
larger fish is coarse and oily. The Mahseer is a carnivorous fish, 
preying chiefly on fishes. 


Fig. 53. — Mahseer, Barbus mosal. 

Barbel. The only species of Barbus found in British waters is the 
Barbel, Barbus vulgaris (327), and this is restricted to the valleys 
of the Thames and Trent. On the continent the Barbel abounds 
in almost all the rivers of Central Europe. The Barbel is long for 
a Cyprinoid fish ; the head is elongated, with a projecting fleshy 
upper lip and small eyes set high up and far back. Four barbels 
hang down from the upper lip, two from the fore part of the 
snout and two from the angles of the mouth. It is from these 
conspicuous " feelers " that the fish takes its popular name. 
Specimens of 18 lbs. have been taken from the Thames, but at 
the present day it is rarely that one over 12 lbs. is caught. The 
Barbel are sociable fishes and collect in shoals where food is 


plentiful. They are ground- feeders and are not very fastidious in 
their diet. The Barbel is rarely eaten except by the poorest 
people, its liability to convey tape-worms unless the flesh be very 
thoroughly cooked rendering it undesirable for the table. The 
roe, also, is sometimes poisonous. 

The Gudgeon. Gobio fluviatilis (332), is a small fish similar in Gudgeon. 
general proportions to the Barbel, but having only two barbels 
instead of four, and lacking the spine in front of the dorsal fin 
which the Barbel possesses. The Gudgeons prefer clear running 
water, although on the continent they are found in still lakes. 
They are gregarious, moving about in large shoals ; they feed on 
small animals, such as insect larvae, crustaceans and worms. In 
England the Gudgeon grows to six inches. 

The species of Leuciscus, known in a general way as " White- Roach, 
fish," are abundant in the temperate parts of Europe, Asia and C|iub, 
North America. Of the European forms the commonest are the &c. 

Fig. 54. — Lower Pharyngeal Bones of the Chub, showing the teeth. 

Roach, Leuciscus rutilus, 341, spread all over Europe north of the 
Alps ; the Chub, Leuciscus cephalus, 338, with a more southern 
distribution, extending even into Asia Minor ; the Dace, Leuciscus 
vulgaris, 343 ; the Ide or Nerfling, Leuciscus idus, in the northern 
and central parts of Europe, but absent from Britain ; the Rudd 
or Red-eye, Leuciscus erythrophthalmus, 335 ; and the Minnow, 
Leuciscus phoxinus, 334. The scientific differences between the 
above species are based on the position of the dorsal fin, the 
number of scales in the lateral line, the arrangement of the pha- 
ryngeal teeth (see fig. 54), and the numbers of fin-rays in the 
several fins. 

The Roach grows to 2 or 2£ lbs. The Rudd is deeper in 


the body than the Roach, and the pelvic fins are farther forward 
relatively to the front point of the base of the dorsal fin. The 
eye also is redder. The Chub is readily distinguished by its thick, 
plump body and its heavy head. It rarely exceeds 5 lbs. and a 
length of 20 inches, although larger specimens are on record. The 
Dace is generally recognised by anglers by the absence of red 
colour in the pelvic and anal fins, and by the pure silvery colour 
of the sides of the body. The maximum weight is about 1 lb. 
The Minnow seldom exceeds 3 inches, although in favourable 
localities it may attain twice that length. The long, thick body 
and the brown and green colouring distinguish it from the young 
of any of the above species of Leuciscus. 
Orfe. The Ide or Nerfling, Leuciscus idus, is a European species 

which in Germany is domesticated and assumes more or less the 
golden hue of the Gold-fish. Such forms are known as Golden 
Orfe, 344. 
Azurine. The fish known as the Azurine, 337, is a bluish variety of the 
Rudd; it occurs in the middle of continental Europe, and at 
one time was found in some parts of England, for instance, at 
Knowsley in Lancashire. 
^Tench. The Tench, Tinea vulgaris, 345, is found all over Europe in 

stagnant waters with a muddy or clayey bottom. The scales of 
the fish are small and deeply embedded in the skin, which is thick 
and slimy. A short barbel occurs at the angle of the mouth on 
each side ; the pharyngeal teeth, 347, are wedge-shaped, slightly 
hooked at the end, and arranged in a single series. The Tench is 
an animal of leisurely movement, and sluggish disposition, except 
during the breeding-season, and passes the winter in a state of 
torpidity. In England the Tench seldom exceeds 4 lbs. in weight. 
In a state of domestication the Tench may be made to acquire a 
golden colour similar to that of the Gold-fish and the Golden 
Orfe. Such a fish is called a Golden Tench, 346. 
Bitterling. The Bitterling, Rhodeus amarus, 348, is a small European fish, 
the female of which deposits its eggs in the mantle-cavity of the 
Pond-Mussel by means of a long external genital tube or ovi- 
positor, which is developed in the breeding-season and dwindles 
away afterward. Sometimes the tube is as long as the fish itself. 
The eggs undergo their early development in the gills of the 

BREAM. 109 

Mussel, and the fry take their departure in about a month's time. 
The young fishes cannot be regarded as parasites in the gill of the 
mollusc, since they subsist solely on the yolk that is present in 
the egg. All that they enjoy is apparently the safety of the 
secluded position and a current of fresh water which the Mussel 
keeps circulating through its gills for its own respiratory pro- 
cesses. The young of the Pond-Mussel, when discharged by their 
parent as free-swimming little creatures, have a way of hooking 
themselves on to the skin of freshwater fishes, and living embedded 
in the skin for some time before they escape and settle down in 
the mud to complete their growth. The breeding-seasons of the 
Mussel and the Bitterling coincide, and the Mussel takes its 
revenge, so to speak, on the Bitterling by discharging its own 
young upon the mother-fish, so that the skin of the latter becomes 
a nursing-ground for the young Mussels. 

The Bream, Abramis brama, 349, may be distinguished from Bream, 
the other fresh-water fish of Britain by the great depth of its 
laterally compressed body and the considerable length of the base 
of the anal fin. The dorsal fin has a short base and stands high, 
and the lower lobe of the tail-fin is longer than the upper. The 
scales are rather large and number 51 to 57 along the lateral line. 
The Bream is as much at home in rivers as in lakes, and is found 
in most parts of temperate Europe north of the Alps. The fishes 
swim in large shoals and feed partly on water-weeds and partly on 
aquatic insects and worms. The average weight of a Bream in 
England is between 2 and 4 lbs., but a specimen has been caught 
in the Serpentine, in Hyde Park, weighing more than 7 lbs., and 
larger sizes are on record. 

The White Bream or Bream-flat, Abramis blicca, 351, is a Bream- 
smaller fish than the Common Bream, and in England not so flat - 
abundant. It is one of the commonest, fishes of Central Europe. 
The colour is whiter and more silvery than that of the Bream, and 
less brown and brassy, the lobes of the tail-fin are not so unequal, 
and the pharyngeal teeth are arranged in two rows on each side 
instead of in a single row. The fish rarely exceeds 1 lb. in weight, 
or a foot in length. 

The Carp family is remarkable for the fact that some of the Hybrids, 
different forms cross-breed in a state of nature, i. e. not in 


an aquarium, and produce (apparently) fertile hybrids. The 
Pomeranian Bream, Abramis buggenhagii, 1161, Cabinet-case 31, 
is in all probability a hybrid between the Common Bream, 
Abramis brama, 349, and the Roach, Leuciscus rutilus, 341. 
The characters of the Pomeranian Bream are intermediate between 
those of the Common Bream and the Roach, and the fish occurs in 
localities where both the Common Bream and the Roach exist, in 
England, Holland, Germany, Austria, &c. Bliccopsis erythroph- 
thalmoides, 1168, Cabinet-case 31, a fish found in Holland and 
Germany, is regarded as a natural hybrid between the Bream-flat, 
Abramis blicca, 351, and the Rudd, Leuciscus erythrophthalmus, 
335, and several other hybrids are recorded between species of 
Leuciscus and those of Abramis, Alburnus and Chondrostoma. A 
hybrid is also supposed to exist between the Roach and the Rudd, 
and such a form has been described under the name Leuciscus 

Natural hybrids, i. e. the offspring of different species pairing 
in a state of nature, are extremely rare, but within the class of 
Pishes there is yet another instance which may be regarded as 
genuine, and that is the hybrid between the Turbot and Brill 
(1167, Cabinet-case 31). The Grimsby fishermen occasionally 
come across a fish which is intermediate in characters between the 
Turbot and the Brill and which they call a hybrid. Since it 
has been found possible in the artificial conditions of a marine 
laboratory to fertilise the eggs of the one species of fish with the 
sperms of the other and to rear the young up to a certain stage of 
development, it is very possible that they may be right. 
Bleak. Th e Bleak, Alburnus lucidus, 352, is a brilliant, silvery little 

fish, deriving its name from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning 
" shining." In hot summer weather it hovers a few inches below 
the surface of the water and glitters with silvery lustre in the 
sunlight as it darts after flies or any small objects floating on 
the surface. As in the Bream the anal fin has a long base, 
and the hinder part of the abdomen ends below in a sharp 
keel. The Bleak seldom grows to more than 4 or 5 inches in 

Prom the scales of the Bleak is obtained a silvery powder, one 
of the principal constituents of which is guanin, employed in 



the manufacture of artificial pearls. The process by which this 
glittering material is refined and utilised is said to have originated 
with the Chinese; the industry has been established in France for 
more than two hundred years. The most silvery scales are picked 
out and scraped, and the iridescent pigment allowed to collect at 
the bottom of the water as a sediment. This is placed in liquid 
ammonia and sold as " essence d'orient." Small glass bulbs are 
coated on the inner surface with this substance, and the interior 
filled with a hard wax. The outer surface of the glass is some- 
times dulled with hydrofluoric acid to increase the illusion, and, 
perfectly spherical pearls being very scarce, the manufacturers of 
these imitation pearls even go to the length of blowing the bulbs 
irregular and lop-sided. Most of the "essence d'orient" is made 
from the scales of the Bleak, but that obtained from Whitebait is 
of superior quality and greater brilliance. 

In the Loaches there are from three to six pairs of barbels Loach. 
around the mouth ; the pharyngeal teeth are in one row and in 
moderate number. The anterior part of the air-bladder is divided 
into a right and left chamber and enclosed in a bony capsule. 
The Loaches have a low, elongate body, with or without minute 
scales. They are distributed over Europe, Asia, Abyssinia, &c. 
They are fishes of small size, living in small streams and ponds 
and avoiding large rivers. 

In consequence of the close connection that exists between the 
skin and the air-bladder, and between the air-bladder and the ear, 
the fishes are very sensitive to changes in temperature and pres- 
sure, and are known in parts of Germany as " Wetterfisch " or 
Weather-Fishes. The commonest European Loaches are the Stone 
Loach, Nemachilus barbatulus, 353 ; the Spined Loach, Cobitis 
tcenia, 355 • and the Pond Loach, Misgurnm fossilis, 354, the 
largest of the three, growing to about 10 or 11 inches. 

The Spined Loach, which is scarce in Britain, may be distin- 
guished from the other two by the presence of a small, erectile, 
bifid spine below the eye. The Pond Loach has 10 or 12 barbels, 
four of which are on the lower jaw ; the Stone Loach has 
6 barbels, none of which are on the mandible, The Pond Loach 
occurs in stagnant waters of eastern and southern Germany and 


eastern Europe ; it is not found in Britain. The Stone Loach 
occurs in Britain and on the continent, except Scandinavia ; it 
frequents fast-running streams with stony bottom. 
Cat-fishes. The family of the Siluridse or Cat-fishes is a large one widely 
spread over the fresh-waters of the temperate and tropical regions ; 
Wall- a few of the Cat-fishes are found in the sea (e. g. Arius (376), 
and 10. Galeichthys (377) and Plotosus), but they keep near the coast. 
They are all bottom-feeders, of carnivorous tendencies. The body 
has no scales, but in many genera it is armoured with bony scutes, 
more or less sculptured. A strong bony spine is frequently 
present in front of the dorsal and pectoral fins, and large bony 
plates occur in the skin at their bases. The spines are sometimes 
barbed or serrated, and constitute formidable weapons. They are 
not strictly comparable with the spines of Acanthoptergian fishes, 
such as the Perch (507, Wall-case 12) and Bass (511, Wall- 
case 13), since they are formed by the fusion of the pieces of a 
jointed fin-ray, the fusion taking place during the growth of the 
fish. One to four pairs of barbels usually occur around the 
mouth ; an adipose fin is frequently present. 

The division of the family into subfamilies and genera is based 
upon the extent of the dorsal fin, the presence or absence of an 
adipose fin, and the fusion of the lower parts of the gill-covers 
with the "isthmus" under the throat, or their freedom from it. 
In Clarias (359) and Copidoglanis (361), for instance, the dorsal 
and anal fins are long-based and extend to the tail-fin, whereas in 
the other forms shown the dorsal fin is short-based. The anal 
fin is long-based in Silurus (364), Wallago (367), Silondia 
(368), but not in Amzurus (373), Rita (371), &c. An 
adipose fin is present in the last two, and in Doras (379), 
Synodontis (381), &c, but is wanting in Silurus (364), Silondia 
(368), &c. In the Electric Cat-fish, Malopterurus, 386, an 
adipose fin is present, whereas the anterior dorsal fin supported 
by fin-rays is wanting. 

Some Siluroids are provided with an accessory breathing organ. 
€larias (359, and fig. 55) and Heterobranchus have a dendritic 
organ situated above the gills which enables the fish to live out of 
water for some time. In the dry season these fishes live in burrows 
in the mud and crawl out at nights in search of food. In Sac- 



cobranchus (363) there is a long air-sac^not the air-bladder, 
which is also present, enclosed in a bony envelope — but a thin- 
walled sac extending from the first gill-slit on each side along the 
body as far back as the tail, and this allows the fish to exist out 

Fig. 55. — Accessory respiratory organ of Clarias as seen after the removal 
of the gill-cover; a and/» the two accessory organs, ba l -ba* the gills. 
(After Bridge, Camb. Nat. Hist., vii, 1904.) 

of water for several days. The aerated blood from these air-sacs 
is carried back into the general circulation by means of the efferent 
vessels of the last gills, which join the aorta ; the blood is not 
taken back straight to the heart. Most Siluroids can live in foul 
water even though not provided with accessory organs of respir- 
ation ; they rise to the surface and take in air through their 

The Wels, Sihirus glanis, 364, is a fish occurring plentifully in 
the Danube and other fresh waters of continental Europe, but 
absent from France, Spain and Italy. It is said to grow to a 
length of ten feet and a weight of three or four hundred pounds. 
The male watches over the eggs and defends them from marauders, 
a fact which was noted by Aristotle. In the North American 
Bull-heads (Amhirus, 373) also the male guards the eggs, and 
defends the young after they are hatched. Arius (376) and 
Galeichthys (377), guard the eggs by carrying them in the 
capacious mouth, the male, more rarely the female, being the 




custodian. The eggs of Arius are large, of about the size of 
cherries (1146, Cabinet-case 29). 

Clarias (359) occurs in the muddy and marshy fresh waters of 
Africa and South Asia, Copidoglanis (361) occurs in Asia and 
Australia, and Saccobranchus (362) in the rivers of the East 

Doras (379) is distinguished by a series of bony scutes along 
the middle of the side. It travels over land in the dry season in 
search of a pond of greater capacity ; its progress is fairly rapid, 
and is effected by a springing movement of the tail, the spines of 
the outspread pectoral fins serving to prevent the body from rolling 
over sideways. These fishes make nests and both sexes tend the 
eggs. They occur in those rivers of tropical South America that 
flow into the Atlantic. 

Schal. Synodontis of the African rivers has a way of floating belly up- 

wards at the surface of the water, a curious habit which is 
represented in many of the drawings of the ancient Egyptians. 
One of the commonest species of the Nile is the Schal, Synodontis 
schal (skeleton, 382), which grows sometimes to two feet in length. 

Electric The Electric Cat-fish, Malopterurus electricus (383, and fig. 56), 
a fish not uncommon in the fresh waters of tropical Africa, has no 

Fig. 56. — Electric Cat-fish, Malopterurus electricus. 

front dorsal fin ■ it has a large adipose dorsal set far back, and a 
short-based anal fin. The skin is soft and velvety, without scales 
or scutes ; the gill-opening is narrow, a mere slit in front of the 
pectoral fin. There are three pairs of barbels. The eyes are small, 
and the fish avoids light and is slow in its movements. The electric 
organ extends over the whole body beneath the skin, but is 
thickest on the abdomen. It consists of connective tissue com- 
partments filled with a firm jelly; it is an organ of cutaneous 



origin and is not constituted of modified muscles as is the case in 
the Electric Eel (315, Wall-case 8). 

Callichthys (384, and fig. 57), a small fish of the rivers of the 
northern parts of South America, is remarkable for the cuirass 
which covers in the whole of the soft parts of the body. The 
armour consists of an upper and a lower row of large, overlapping 

Fig. 57. — An armoured Cat-fish, Callichthys Uttoralis. 

shields on each side, each shield being much higher than wide. 
The adipose fin is supported anteriorly by a short, movable spine. 

In the Loricariidse and Aspredinidse (Wall-case 10, floor) there 
is a resemblance to the Siluridse in the absence of scales, the 
fusion of the parietal bones with the supraoccipital, the absence of 
the symplectic bone, and the presence of barbels and an adipose 
fin, but there is a difference in the ribs being sessile upon the 
centra of the vertebrae and not supported on transverse processes. 
In the Loricariidse the mouth. is inferior, with circular lips, and 
feeble dentition. In the forms like Plecostomus (387) and 
Loricaria (386), which have a body cuirass of bony plates, the ribs 
are slender, but in those which have an unprotected skin the ribs 
are strong. The Loricariidse are confined to tropical and sub- 
tropical parts of Central and South America. Many are of small 
size ; the males of some species have a bearded or bristly snout. 

In the Aspredinidse the mouth is terminal ; the head is much 
flattened ; there are no scutes ; the tail is slender. Aspredo 
(390), of the Guianas, is the largest of the genera. The female 
attaches the eggs to the under surface of her body by pressing 
upon them, when they become embedded in the skin, which is 





soft and spongy during the breeding-season. After the breeding- 
season the skin again becomes smooth and firm. 

Anguilliformes (Eels). 

Wall-ease The suborder Anguilliformes or Apodes embraces the " Eels," 
8, lower usm g the term in the widest sense. In these fishes the body is 
very long, and without pelvic fins (whence the name " Apodes"). 
The dorsal and anal fins are in a few cases wanting ; in most they 
are long-based and continuous around the hind end of the body, 
there being no separate tail-fin. None of the fins have hard or 
"spinous" fin-rays. The vertebras are very numerous, as one 
would expect in such long-bodied fishes ; the shoulder-girdle is not 
attached to the back of the cranium and has no mesocoracoid 
bone. The premaxillary bones are absent, and the maxillae are 
separated by the coalesced ethmoid and vomerine bones. The two 
parietal bones meet in a median suture ; there is no separate 
symplectic bone. 

The Eels are widely spread over the temperate and tropical 
zones ; some occur at great depths of the sea. A few, such as the 
Common Eel, enter fresh water to feed and grow, but they return 
to the sea to breed. 
An- In the family Anguillidse are included important food-fishes 

g 1 . like the Common or Fresh-water Eel, Anguilla vulgaris (395), and 
the Conger, Conger vulgaris (396) . In Anguilla there are rudi- 
mentary scales, oblong in form, deeply embedded in the skin and 
arranged in small groups, the scaler of each group being oblique 
to the length of the body and at right-angles to the scales of the 
groups above and below. In the genus Conger scales are 
Common The Common Eel, Anguilla vulgaris (395), has a very wide 


distribution in the Northern hemisphere, extending through 
Europe, North Africa and Asia, but not occurring in the rivers 
discharging into the Arctic Ocean, the Black Sea and the Caspian 
Sea. This Eel probably also occurs in America and the West 
Indies, although the Americans name their common Eel Anguilla 
chrisypa. The Eel of the fresh-waters of Australia and New: 
Zealand is of another species. 

EELS. 117 

Owing to the fact that the generative organs of the Common 
Eel do not ripen in fresh Vater, numerous erroneous impressions 
have arisen concerning the mode of propagation of the fish, which 
have only recently been dispelled. It is now definitely established 
that when five or six years old the Eels migrate to the sea to breed, 
and they do not return to fresh water. The males have been 
observed to precede the females, from which they may be dis- 
tinguished by the sharper form of the snout ; in fact, what in 
England are called the Sharp-nosed Eel and the Broad-nosed Eel 
are but the immature males and females of the same species of 

On their way to the breeding place, a zone of the Atlantic off 
the West of Ireland and France where the water is about five or 
six hundred fathoms deep, the skin of the fish becomes silvery 
and bright, the eyes large and dark, and the reproductive organs 
become fully developed. The Eels spawn at the great depth above 
mentioned, in the middle of winter, and the innumerable young 
hatched from the eggs grow to a length of nearly three inches, as 
the flat, transparent "Leptocephali." 

These larvae (fig. 58 A, p. 118) have perfectly clear, ribbon-like 
bodies, transparent as glass, and free from colour excepting the 
eyes, which are black, and are alone visible when the little fish is 
observed in a jar of clear sea-water. They are called Leptocephali 
on account of the small size of their ]head. The generic name 
" Leptocephalus " was applied to the Eel-larvse before their history 
was known, and it is now merely used to distinguish a stage in the 
life history of various species of Anguilla, Conger, Congromurana, 
and other "Eels." Thus, Leptocephalus brevirostris is the larval 
form of the Common Eel, Anguilla vulgaris ; Leptocephalus 
morrisii that of the Conger Eel, Conger vulgaris, and so on. 

The Leptocephalus developes from the egg and grows to about 
three inches in length, and then ceases to feed, and takes no food 
again until the metamorphosis is complete and the little fish has 
become an " Elver" (see fig. 58 D). 

As the metamorphosis of the Leptocephalus into the Elver 
proceeds, the temporary teeth in the upper jaw are shed, and the 
pointed snout becomes rounded. The height of the body becomes 
reduced, first in the anterior and posterior parts, later in the middle 



parts, so that the body becomes nearly cylindrical. In the later 
stages the length also diminishes. Pigment is developed in the 
skin, and the eyes become slightly reduced during the meta- 

During the later stages of the metamorphosis the little fish 
become very active, and they swim in enormous numbers in an 



Fig. 58. — Metamorphosis of the Common Eel, Anguilla vulgaris. 

A. The larva, known as Leptocephalus brevirostris. 

B. Later stage, the metamorphosis commencing. 

C. Transition stage ; Glass Elver. 

D. Elver, from fresh water, the metamorphosis complete. 

All of the figures are of the natural size. 

easterly direction, arriving at the mouths of the western rivers of 
Ireland, England and France in the spring. While in the sea 
they are still colourless, and are known as " Glass Elvers," but as 
they get into fresh water they develop pigment in the skin, and 
then are " Elvers " (see fig. 58 C and D) . 

EELS. 119 

The Elvers ascend our rivers in millions ; some climb the banks 
of the river3 and streams and pass over wet fields, eventually 
reaching suitable ponds; others stay in holes in the muddy banks 
of the streams. The Elvers are greatly reduced in numbers as 
the migration proceeds, many being eaten by fish such as the Pike, 
and by birds, while for human consumption vast quantities are 
caught and sold during the " Eel-fare/' as the migration of the 
Elvers is termed. 

There are no reliable statistics of the British Eel-fisheries ; in 
Denmark they are important and produce an annual yield of over 
.£100,000 in value. Eels are caught usually in traps of basket- 
work or netting, especially during their migrations to the Atlantic 
in autumn for the purpose of spawning. 

Eels are voracious feeders and diligently poke their noses under 
small and large stones, and laboriously move the large ones, 
sometimes assisting one another in their search for crustaceans, 
fishes, spawn, &c, upon which they feed. They are extremely 
rapid in their movements, and when well grown have few enemies 
but man; the Pike, however, commits great depredations among 
the young ones. 

Eels grow naturally to about three feet. If prevented from 
descending to the sea they grow to four feet or more, and one 
specimen has been known to live to the age of forty years in fresh 
water. The Eel is an excellent food-fish, the flesh being of agree- 
able flavour, and tender if properly cooked, although becoming 
tough and leathery in inexperienced hands. 

The Conger (396) is a purely marine fish, and prefers deep Conger. 
waters with a rocky bottom. It is almost cosmopolitan and is 
widely distributed along the coasts of the North Atlantic, 
Mediterranean, Japan, Tasmania, &c. It is caught on long-lines, 
and in the British Isles the fishery yields about 70,000 cwts. 
annually, valued at nearly €50,000. The Conger is a coarser fish 
than the Anguilla and grows to a larger size, the female some- 
times attaining a length of eight feet ; the male rarely exceeds two 
feet. A Conger may be readily distinguished from a Common Eel 
by the dorsal fin commencing nearer the head than in the latter. 

The Nemichthyidae differ from the Anguillidae in the vent being Nemich- 
set forward, close to the gill-openings ; the gill-openings are wide, 


and nearly confluent. The eyes are large. The fin-membrane 
between the rays of the dorsal and anal fins is thin, and in some 
genera, like Nemichthys (398), the jaws are remarkably long and 
feeble, forming a slender beak or bill. The Nemichthyidae are 
deep-sea fishes found in the great oceans of the world, and do not 
attain any great size. 
Sacco- The Saccopharyngidse, known in America as " Gulpers," are very 

pharyug- g ro t e sque fishes of the deep seas, more or less allied to the Eels 
(see fig. 6, p. 18). The mouth is very large, and the stomach is 
extremely distensible and capable of accommodating prey of larger 
size than the fish itself. The eyes are small and set far forward, 
the tail is long and slender, ending in a filament. The skeleton 
is imperfectly calcified. Examples of Saccopharynx (986) and 
Gastrostomies (985) are shown in the case of " Deep-sea Fishes/' 
Cabinet-case 44. 
Murse- J n the Mursenidae or Moray s the branchial openings into tne 

pharynx are narrow slits, whereas they are wide slits in the 

Fig. 59. — Moray, Murcena helena. 

Anguillidse ; the external gill-opening on each side is small and 
round. The skin is without scales. The pectoral fins are usually 
wanting and in some cases the pectoral arch also. 

The Muramas are voracious fishes of tropical and subtropical 
seas and do not hesitate to attack man; they are especially 
abundant in the vicinity of coral reefs. Many are of large size, 

PIKES. 121 

reaching a length of eight or ten feet, and most are of remarkably 
rich and varied coloration. 

Murana helena, the " Mursena " of the Romans (fig. 59), is 
largely used as food around the Mediterranean. The species can 
be domesticated and will live in fresh water. The fishes were 
extensively kept by the Romans and fattened in special tanks and 
ponds, and according to certain traditions were fed with the bodies 
of slaves. The fish is not confined to the Mediterranean, but 
occurs also in the north-western part of the Indian Ocean, the 
eastern part of the Atlantic, and is sometimes caught off the 
coast of England. 

Esociformes (Pikes). 

In the suborder Esociformes or Haplomi, including the Pikes Wall- 
and their allies, the anterior vertebrae are without Weberian 
ossicles, and the shoulder-girdle is connected with the back of the 
skull. The two parietal bones are usually separated by the 
supraoccipital. The fins are usually without spines, but the first 
ray of the dorsal fin is sometimes stiffened and spine-like. There 
are no barbels. The pelvic fins are abdominal in position. These 
fishes occur chiefly in fresh water, but some in the deep sea. 

The Galaxiidfe are a small family of scaleless fishes in which Galaxi- 
the parietal bones meet in the middle line of the skull, the post- • 

temporal bone is not forked, and the ribs are attached to strong 
transverse processes. The chief genus is Galaxias (406), occurring 
in the fresh waters, and in some cases also the seas, of the southern 
parts of the world, South Australia, New Zealand, the south of 
South America and the Cape of Good Hope. The settlers in New 
Zealand called these fishes " Trout " and the young " Whitebait," 
and the names still survive to a certain extent. The native name 
of the fish is " Kokopu." 

The Esocidae constitute a small family of carnivorous fresh-water Esocidee. 
fishes including the Pikes and the Umbras or Mud-Minnows, and 
ranging through the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere. 
The upper border of the mouth is supported by the maxillary 
as well as by the premaxillnry bones, but the former are toothless. 
There are no transverse processes to the trunk vertebras ; the 


post-temporal bone is forked. The dorsal and anal fins are set far 
back • the pectoral fins are set low down the sides of the body ; the 
pelvic fins have 6-11 rays. The body is clothed with cycloid scales. 
Pike. The Pike, Esooc lucius, 407, so well known to sportsmen of the 

rod, hardly requires description. It is limited to fresh water and 
ranges through Europe, Asia and America. The Pike is an 
extremely voracious fish, and so great is the havoc wrought by it 
among more valuable fish, such as the Trout, that in certain 
districts special measures have to be taken to keep down their 
numbers. The head is long, broad and flattened, the body is 
long and somewhat laterally compressed, and the sides themselves 
are much flattened. The dentition is powerful, and the teeth being 
sharp, closely set, and with the points directed back towards the 
throat, there is little chance for the prey to escape when once in 
contact with the teeth. How efficacious is the dentition is known 
to all fishermen who in attempting to remove the hook from a 
large dead fish have had the uncomfortable experience of getting 
part or the whole of the hand within the mouth. Every move- 
ment of the hand causes it to get carried farther and farther into 
the throat. 

The colour of the Pike varies considerably with the seasons. 
The back is always dark olive, the sides are grey and green with a 
slight silvery lustre, except at the breeding season, when the colours 
of both sexes become darker and more vivid. The Pike is a solitary 
fish, except during the pairing season, and punishes the intrusion 
of smaller individuals of its own species within its haunts by 
devouring them. Its food consists of all kinds of fish, frogs, 
ducklings, the young of water- fowl, &c. The Pike is a strategist 
in pursuing its prey. It remains perfectly still and rigid, or 
advances quietly and stealthily, and then by a powerful movement 
darts forward, and the fish or bird that it was stalking is within 
its jaws. 

The Pike is not commonly eaten, although by some the flesh is 
considered as not unpleasant. A definite standard of size for a 
full-grown Pike can hardly be assigned, since the fish continues to 
enlarge so long as it can get food and avoid its enemies ; neither 
is it known with certainty to what age Pike will live. The 
specimen exhibited (407) would rank as a good large fish ; when 



caught it weighed 30 lbs. and measured 48 inches in length 
and 23 inches in girth. Pike under 4 lbs. are usually called 
" Jack." 

The Umbras or Mud-minnows include one species {Umbra Umbra. 
crameri) which occurs in Hungary and the countries around, and 
two others [Umbra limi, 409, and Umbra pygama) which are 
inhabitants of the eastern slope of the American continent and the 
Mississippi valley. The jaws are not produced as they are in the 
Pikes, and the teeth are all small. The dorsal fin is set more 
forward than in the Pikes and the scales are relatively larger. The 
Umbras frequent still waters and are most at home in muddy and 
reedy ponds ; when startled they burrow tail foremost into the 
mud. They are small, sluggish and carnivorous. 

Tbe family Scopelidae is a fairly large one, comprising pelagic Scope- 
and deep-sea fishes and some extinct forms from the Cretaceous and 
Tertiary deposits. The premaxillary bones are long, and exclude 
the maxillse from sharing in the support of the upper border of 
the mouth ; the parietal bones are separated ; there are no 
transverse processes to the vertebrae ; the post-temporal is forked. 
An adipose dorsal fin is frequently present, and in the deep-sea 
forms luminous areas (photophores) occur in the skin of the body 
and head. 

Scopelus (413) is a genus with many species, mostly of small 
size, with large eyes and with photophores. While some are 
confined to the depths of the sea others are pelagic, and others 
again remain in deep water during the day and come to the surface 
at night. Many of the species occur in the Mediterranean, others 
in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. In the Case of Deep-sea Fishes 
(Cabinet-case 44) are shown two curious forms belonging to this 
family. Bathypterois (983) is a small-eyed fish, first obtained by 
the " Challenger/'' remarkable for the great elongation of the 
uppermost rays of the pectoral fins, which are forwardly directed 
and act as " feelers." The foremost rays of the pelvic fins are also 
elongated, though not to the same extent as those of the pectoral, 
and by these doubtless the fish feels its way along the bottom of 
the sea. Ipnops (976) is a still more remarkable fish, dredged by 
the " Challenger " from 1600-2000 fathoms, with no eyes, but 


with two luminous patches nearly touching one another on the top 
of the broad, flat head. The photophores are supposed to attract 
small fishes as a candle or gas flame attracts moths, and the Ipnops 
having lured such prey into the neighbourhood of its large mouth 
does not need eyes to see what that prey is before gulping it 
Bum The Bummalow or Bummaloe, Harpodon nehereus, 412, is a 

malow. uniformly phosphorescent fish, frequently found in great numbers 
at the surface of the Indian Ocean and even in the estuaries of the 
coast of Bengal and Burmah. After salting and drying, these 
fishes are exported in large quantities from Bombay and the Malabar 
coast and sold under the name of " Bombay Duck/' a delicacy 
familiar to all who have travelled in India. 

Aulopus purpurissatus, 414, the " Sergeant Baker " of the 
Australian fishermen, occurs in moderate depths of the sea off the 
coast of Australia. It has a small adipose fin, rough, firm scales, 
and no luminous spots. 
Alepido- The Alepidosauridse are deep-sea fishes differing from the 
Scopelidae in the great size of the dorsal fin, which is supported 
by long, slender, unjointed fin-rays. An adipose fin is present. 
The body is without scales ; the teeth are formidable ; the bones 
are feebly ossified. These fishes are found in the Atlantic and 
Pacific Oceans, and include the largest of the deep-sea fishes, some 
attaining a length of four feet. The skull of Alepidosaurus ferox 
exhibited (415) shows the great predatory teeth and the frailness 
of the bones ; a complete skeleton (1097) in a special glass case is 
shown elsewhere in the Gallery. 
Killie- The Cyprinodonts (e. g. 416) are small fishes occurring in fresh 

or brackish waters of America (where they are known as Killie- 
fishes), and in Africa, Southern Europe, and Southern Asia. The 
head is rather flattened, the mouth is extremely protractile and 
with the upper border supported by the premaxillaries only. The 
scales are large and extend more or less over the head. A few 
Cyprinodonts are herbivorous and have a long intestine, but 
most are carnivorous and with a short intestine. The females are 
usually larger than the males and not so brightly coloured, and 
in many species they are viviparous. 




One of the most curious of these fishes is the Anableps, or Four- Four- 
eyed Fish, Anableps tetrophthalmus, 417, of the fresh waters of eyed Fish, 
tropical America. This fish has not really four eyes, but its eyes, 
which bulge considerably, are divided into an upper and a lower 
portion in such a manner that the fish as it swims at the surface of 
the water can see both in and out of that medium, the upper part 
of the eye being adapted for use in air and the lower part for use 
in water. There is nothing exceptional in the general appearance 
of the large crystalline lens and the retina, but the iris is curiously 
altered so as to present two pupils, one above the other. This is 
effected by a pair of overlapping horizontal flaps of the iris passing 
across the middle of the originally simple pupil. 

The Amblyopsidee are small fishes related to the Cyprino- Cave-fish. 
dontidte. They are confined to North America; some live in 
streams and ditches and have eyes, others occur in subterranean 
waters of the great limestone caves. These last are blind, the eyes 
being vestigial and hidden under the skin. The body is colourless 
and transparent. One of the best known is Amblyopsis spelcea (418), 
the Cave-fish or Blind-fish of the Mammoth Cave of Kentucky. 
By way of compensation for the loss of vision the sense of hearing- 
is very acute, as also is the tactile sense, there being developed on 
the head numerous transverse ridges with papillae, which judging 
from their abundant nerve supply are delicate organs of touch. The 
largest specimen known is five inches long. The fish is vivi- 
parous, and the young are about a quarter of an inch long when 


In the grade Physoclisti the air-bladder, although developing Wall- 
as a hollow outgrowth of the alimentary canal, becomes shut off case 10 - 
from it by the disappearance of the neck or tube, the " ductus 
pneumaticus." Some of the Berycoid fishes (Wall- case 12), 
the most primitive of the Acanthopterygian fishes, are exceptional 
in this respect. The great majority of the Teleostean fishes 
belong to the grade Physoclisti ; the exhibited series extends 
from the middle of Wall-case 10 along the North and East 
W r alls to the other end of the Gallery (Wall-case 20). 



The Halosauriformes or Heteromi constitute a small suborder 
of fishes, mostly confined to the deep seas. The pelvic fins, if 
present, have many fin-rays (about 10) and are set far back 
(abdominal position) ; the pectoral fins are set high up the sides 
of the body; the right and left parietal bones meet. The 
mesocoracoid bone in the shoulder-girdle is reduced or absent ; 
the post-temporal bone is small and simple. The suborder 
includes the families Halosauridse, Notacanthidse, Dercetida? 
(extinct; Cretaceous), and Fierasferidse. 

The Halosauridse and Notacanthidse are long-bodied, deep-sea 
fishes, with tail tapering to a point and without a separate caudal 
fin. The body is clothed with cycloid scales, which extend also 
partly over the head. In the latter family (e. g. Notocanthus, 
420) the dorsal fin is represented by a series of short, isolated 
spines ; the anal fin is long, the front part supported by spines, 
the hinder part by soft rays. In the Halosauridse (e. g. 419) 
there are no spines ; the dorsal fin has a short base, the anal 
a long base. 
Fierasfer. Fierasfer (421) is a strange little fish which lives in the bodies 
of holothurians, starfishes and bivalve molluscs, particularly 
the Pearl Oyster. It is not a parasite, so far as our present 
information goes, but catches its own food from the sea water, 
and enters and leaves the body of its host repeatedly without 
apparently causing any inconvenience. Fierasfer is found near 
the coast in all warm and tropical seas. It has a long tail, 
with extended dorsal and anal fins reaching to the extremity, 
which has no separate caudal fin. The anus is far forward, in 
the throat region ; there are no scales and no pelvic fins. 

Gastrosteiformes (Sticklebacks and Sea-horses). 

The suborder Gastrosteiformes or Catosteomi includes curious 
fishes, the affinities of which have been the object of much dis- 
cussion. The least aberrant forms are the Sticklebacks, with 


which the Pipe-fishes and Sea-horses are related, iu spite of their 
strangely modified gills (see fig. 61, p. 131). The Opah or 
King-fish, though so different in appearance from the Sticklebacks, 
would seem to be more closely allied to these than to any other 

The family Lamprididse, constituting the division Selenichthyes Opah 
of some authors, contains only the fish just mentioned, the Opah, 
Lampris luna, Floor-case 27. This is a large fish, attaining 
sometimes the length of four feet. The body is short and deep, 
and laterally compressed ; it is covered with minute scales ; the 
snout is short and the mouth toothless. The branchial apparatus 
is fully developed, and the gills are of the ordinary pectinate 
type. The fins are without spines. The pelvic fins have 
numerous rays (15-17), and the pelvic bones are connected 
with the coracoid bones, which are large and do not meet 
ventrally. The coloration of the Opah is vivid, and the flesh 
is considered choice. The fish is pelagic in habit and is widely 
distributed, specimens having been taken in various parts of the 
Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans, the Mediterranean, and off 
the coast of England. 

The Sticklebacks (family Gastrosteidae) are small fishes, with stickle- 
the dorsal fins armed with two or more spines and with the sides back, 
of the body more or less protected by bony shields instead of 
scales. The pelvic fins are abdominal in position ; each has 
one spine and one or two soft rays; the pectoral fin has no 
spine, the anal fin has a single spine. The mouth is toothed ; 
the ribs are slender ; the anterior vertebrae are not enlarged or 
only slightly elongated. 

The Sticklebacks are widely distributed over the northern seas 
and fresh waters. Several are British. This family is by some 
authorities grouped with the Centriscidse, Amphisilidae, Aulosto- 
matidse and Fistulariidse to constitute the division Hemibranchii, 
characterised by the possession of pectinate gills, more or less 
reduced in number, with a complete opercular apparatus ; with 
a small and terminal mouth and the post-temporal bone simple 
and immovable. 

The common Stickleback of England (424) is Gastrosteus 
aculealus, called also the Three-spined Stickleback from the fact 


that at the front of the dorsal fin are three short spines. It 
is very abundant in all fresh waters, and can be transferred to 
brackish and sea water without injurious effect. The fish occurs 
in three varieties ; var. gymnurus, the smooth-tailed variety, with 
from four to six bony plates behind the gill-cover; var. semi- 
armatus, the half-armed variety, with from ten to fifteen bony 
plates behind the gill-cover and a few blunt spines on the side 
of the base of the tail; and var. trachurus, the rough-tailed 
variety, with an uninterrupted series of from thirty to forty bony 
plates along the side of the body. From recent observations 
it appears that the variety trachurus is a winter form, the variety 
gymnurus the same fish in summer dress, when it has discarded 
its armour, and the variety semiarmatus a fish caught in the 
spring. In the case of the American Gastrosteus cataphractus 
the individuals caught in the sea have a complete armour of bony 
plates, about thirty on each side ; those found in brackish water 
are half-armoured, with from six to twenty plates, while those 
found in fresh water have only two or three plates or even 
none at all. 

The common Stickleback is an active, persistent and greedy 
little fish. It is very pugnacious and protracted fights are not 
uncommon ; after the fight the colour of the defeated combatant 
at once becomes dull, while that of the victor remains resplendent. 
It is no unusual thing also to see a group of Sticklebacks worrying 
a fish much larger than themselves by biting little pieces out of 
the margin of the fins. Sticklebacks do much mischief by 
devouring the spawn and fry of other fishes. 

In the breeding- season the throat and breast become brilliantly 
red, particularly so in the males. The male builds a nest by 
collecting bits of water-weed and leaf- skeletons and cementing 
them together with a glairy fluid which is secreted in glands 
opening at the urino-genital aperture, and which hardens into 
tough threads in contact with water (compare the byssal threads 
of the bivalve molluscs Pinna and Mytilus, the common Mussel). 
The nest is constructed prior to mating. A female is then 
induced to enter the nest and lay her eggs, and when she departs 
through the other opening, for there are two, one at each end, 
the male enters and fertilises the eggs. The process is then 


repeated with other females in succession, and finally the male 
takes up his position outside the nest and jealously guards it 
it against all comers until the young Sticklebacks are hatched. 
Oddly enough, the most persistent assailants are the mothers 
themselves, who seek to devour the eggs. 

The Ten-spined Stickleback, Gastrosteus pungitius, 425, is not 
so common as the Three-spined Stickleback; it has nine short 
spines on the back and a longer tenth. The Fifteen- spined 
Stickleback, Spinachia vulgaris, 426, is a marine form, common 
in rock pools around the British and other coasts of Europe. 

The Elute-mouth or Tobacco-pipe-fish, Fistularia tabaccaria, Flute- 
428, has a long, slender body, with the snout produced into a mouth - 
long tube, which has the mouth, small and toothless, situated 
at the end. The first four vertebras are much elongated and 
are fused together • the supratemporal bones are much produced 
posteriorly. There are no spines in the fins, and no scales, but 
bony plates, in the skin. There is a distinct caudal fin, which 
is forked and has the median fin-rays produced into [a filament. 
The fish swims near the surface in shallow seas of the tropical 
and sub-tropical regions of the globe. 

The Aulostomatidse (427) bear a general resemblance to the 
Eistulariidse, but differ in the following respects : — there are 
spines in front of the dorsal fin, the caudal fin is rhombic, and 
without the elongated central fin-rays, there are small, ctenoid 
scales in the skin and small teeth in the jaws. 

In the Snipe-fishes (family Centriscidse, e. g. 430) the body Snipe- 
is laterally compressed and deep vertically ; the snout is in the " 
form of a tube, with the small toothless mouth at its extremity; 
some of the anterior vertebrae are elongated ; the front part 
of the dorsal fin has a few spines, one much larger than the 
others ; the anal fin has no spines. Scales are present, also 
bony scutes dorsally and ventrally, forming an incomplete bony 
armour which is distinct from the vertebrae. The Common 
Snipe-fish is widely distributed in warm seas, and is sometimes 
found off the south coast of England. 

The Amphisile (432), sometimes called the Needle-fish or Amphi- 
Shrimp-fish, is a curious, semi-transparent little fish, which sne * 
carries the body with the long axis upright, and cleaves the 




and Sea- 

water with its sharp ventral edge. The body is protected by 
a dermal cuirass which is continuous with the internal skeleton j 
there are about six large, elongated trunk vertebras and fourteen 
very small caudal. The body ends in the two dorsal fins, the 
first of which bears a strong spine : the tail fin is reduced and 
is ventral, not terminal in position. 

The families Solenostomatidse and Syugnathidse agree in having 
gills which are not comb-like, but reduced to small rounded 
knobs or lobes borne by the gill-arches (fig. 61) ; they were 
formerly grouped in a special division known as the Lophobranchii. 
Not only are the gills reduced but the gill-cover also ; there is 
no preopercular bone and only a few branchiostegal rays. The 
skin is strengthened by large, star-shaped, bony plates or by 
bony rings encircling the body ; there are no scales. The 
muscular system is feebly developed. The snout is prolonged 
into a tube, and the mouth is small, terminal and toothless. 

Fig. 60. — Pipe-fish, Syngnathus acus. 

In the Syngnathidse the gill-opening is small and set high up j 
the anterior dorsal fin and the pelvic fins are wanting. The 
eo-gs are carried by the male in a brood-pouch situated either on 
the abdomen or on the tail, and usually formed by two folds 
of skin, right and left. In Nerophis (434) and Gastrotokeus 
(437), however, there is no pouch; the eggs are embedded in 
the soft skin of the abdomen of the male. The Syngnathidae 
are small and marine, living near the coast in temperate and 
tropical regions ; they are poor swimmers and are carried about 
passively by currents. 

The commonest forms are the Pipe-fishes (e. g. the Greater 
Pipe-fish, Syngnathus acus, 436, and fig. 60, the Ocean Pipe-fish, 
Nerophis aquoreus, 434), which have a tail that is not prehensile. 


Solenognathus (438), of the seas of China and Australia, has a 
short prehensile tail by which it holds on to pieces of sea-weed 
among which it lives. The Sea-horse, Hippocampus abdominalis 
(440. and fig. 61) has a well-developed prehensile tail, and carries 
the body in a vertical position. The head is bent at right angles 
to the body and bears some resemblance to the head of a horse ; 
it is very like the " knight " of the chess-board. In the Dragon- 
fish, Phyllopteryx, 439, the tubercles or spines are produced into 
large, soft, leafy streamers, composed of skin, and bearing a 
close resemblance to bits of sea-weed. 

The fishes of the family Solenostomatidse (433) differ from 
those of the Syngnathidae in having large pelvic fins and an 

Fig. 61. — Lobular gill of Sea-horse, Hippocampus abdominalis, 

brought into view by turning the gill-cover forward. 

(From Gunther, " Study of Fishes.") 

anterior, spinous dorsal fin, and in the gill-opening being wide. 
The brood-pouch is constituted by the broad pelvic fins, and 
occurs in the female. 

The Pegasus, Pegasus volitans, 443, is an odd little fish found Pegasus. 
on the sandy shoals of the coasts of Japan, China, India, and 
Australia. The mouth is on the under side of the head and has 
no teeth; the gills are pectinate, and not lobular as in the 
Sea-horses. The body is entirely covered with bony plates, 
arranged in the form of rings. The pectoral fins are broad and 
horizontal, like large wings ; in the species in question the five 
front rays have the form of strong spines. These fishes constitute 
the division Hypostomides. The dried bodies of the Pegasus 
are frequently used by the Chinese in conjunction with shells 



and bits of red coral in the ornamentation of fancy boxes, many 
of which are brought to England by sailors and travellers as 

Mugiliformes (Grey Mullets) . 

Wall- The suborder Mugiliformes or Percesoces includes the Sand- 

case 11. ee j s ^ Q re j Mullets and Barracudas, and occupies an intermediate 
position between the Pikes on the one hand and the Perches on 
the other. The pelvic fins, if present, are abdominal in position, 
and consist usually of one spine and five soft rays. The pelvic 
bones are not firmly connected with the shoulder girdle. The 
shoulder girdle is suspended from the cranium, and has no 
mesocoracoid bone. The supraoccipital bone extends forwards, 
between the reduced parietal bones. 
Skipper. The first family, the Scombresocidse, takes its name from 
Scombresox, the Skipper, 451, also known as the Saury, a fish 
sometimes caught off Britain, and reminiscent of the Mackerels in 
the possession of a few finlets behind the dorsal and anal fins. 
The Skippers swim at the surface in large shoals and are pursued 
by the Tunny and Bonito as well as by Porpoises. Although their 
fins are small, they are very rapid in their movements, and the 
fishes spring out of the water and glide along the surface ap- 
pearing scarcely to touch the water. 
Gar-fish. The Gar-fish, Belone vulgaris, 449, of the coasts of Britain, 
Prance and the Mediterranean, is less pelagic than the Skipper, 
and has not the finlets; it is very voracious, and the larger species, 
not found in British waters, are dangerous to man, not so much 
from the injury inflicted by the teeth as from the ugly wound that 
they can make by driving the closed beak into the flesh, as they 
sometimes do when leaping out of the fisherman's net at the side 
of the boat. Although the Gar-fish is good eating, it is disliked 
by many people on account of the green colour of its bones. 
There is a well-founded prejudice against green pigments other 
than the green colouring matter (chlorophyll) of leaves and 
fruits, but it so happens that the green substance in the bones of 
the Gar-fish is not poisonous. A similar green coloration of the 
bones is found in the Protopterus or African Lung-fish (Wall- 
case 6). 


The Half-beak, Hemirhamphus, 450, of most tropical seas, Half? 
instead of having the upper and lower jaws both prolonged to form 
a beak, has only the lower jaw long. It feeds mostly on green 

The Flying-fishes, Exoccetus (452, and fig. 62) do not have the Flying- 
jaws prolonged ; the teeth are feeble and uniform, the pectoral fins, *ish. 

Fig. 62. — A Flying-fish, Exoccetus spilopterus. 

and in some species the pelvic fins also, and the lower lobe of the 
tail are greatly enlarged. They live in shoals in tropical and 
sub-tropical seas and are pursued by large fishes such as the Tunny 
and Albacore. Exoccetus volitans is a small species, with short 
pelvic fins, sometimes taken off the British coast ; the largest 
Flying-fish is the Californian species, which attains a length of 
eighteen inches. 

Although called Flying-fish, the species of Exoccetus do not 
really fly. They leave the water with great velocity by a powerful 
movement of the tail, and then scud through the air until they 
reach the water again, when another rapid movement of the tail 
may start them afresh through the air without the whole of the 
body entering the water. The pectoral fins are not moved as 
organs of true flight. They may vibrate and quiver somewhat, 
but the whole motive power is supplied by the strong tail. The 
movements of the pectoral fins are in no way comparable Avith 
these of the wings of a bird ; the fins act as a parachute only. 

The Sand-eels or Launces (family Ammodytidae) are small, Sand-eel. 
silvery fishes swimming in shoals near the shore, and remarkable 
for the manner in which by their sharp pointed snout they bury 


themselves with great, rapidity in the sand, darting in and out 
like arrows. Sometimes the falling tide leaves a sandy stretch of 
beach looking like a moving foam of silver through the Launces 
dodging and wriggling in and out of the wet sand. Both dorsal 
and anal fins are extended (fig. 63) and without spines. There are 
no pelvic fins. Two species occur on the British coast, the Greater 
Launce or Greater Sand-eel, Ammodytes lanceolatus, 455, and 
fig. 63, growing to seventeen inches, and the Lesser Launce or Lesser 

Fig. 63. — Sand-eel 7 Ammodytes lanceolatus. 

Sand-eel, Ammodytes tobianus, 454; which grows to seven inches, 
has flatter sides than the Greater Launce, and lives higher up the 
sandy shoal. They are not much eaten but make excellent bait. 
Sand- The Atherines or Sand-smelts are small fishes rarely exceeding 

smelt. nme mcnes m length, of a translucent pale green colour, and with 
a silvery band along the side. They are littoral fishes, living in 
shoals in the seas of the temperate and tropical regions of the 
globe, but some species enter or live entirely in fresh water. 
Atherina presbyter, the Common Sand-smelt, 456, is not 
uncommon on the British coasts. It is sometimes mistaken for 
the Smelt, which is a Salmonoid fish (294, Wall-case 7), but the 
uninitiated can at once tell the Atherine from the true Smelt by 
the presence of spines in the front dorsal fin. The Sand-smelts 
are highly esteemed as food; the celebrated l Pesce Rey' of Chili 
is a species of Atherina. 
Grey The Grey Mullets (family Mugilidse) are robust-looking fishes 

with broad, blunt head and small, nearly toothless mouth. The 
scales are cycloid, of moderate size and arranged in regular rows ; 
the first dorsal fin is small and has few spines (usually four) and 
the pectoral fins are inserted high up. The second portion of the 
stomach is thick and muscular like the gizzard of a bird, and the 



intestine is Jong and much convoluted. The fishes live on the 
small organisms contained in the mud and sand; they feed in 
large parties or schools on the bottom in quiet water with the 
head downward ; the food is sifted in the mouth and the mud and 
sand rejected. The exhibited specimen of Grey Mullet, Mugil 
capito, 457, is the commonest of the three species found off the 
British coasts. All Grey Mullets are valued as food, those taken 
from fresh water particularly so. 

In Honolulu they have a very ingenious plan of rearing the 
Grey Mullet in Mullet-ponds. Across an arm of the sea is built 
a stone wall with very numerous small openings between the stones. 
Through these openings the young Mullets enter, and they 
rapidly fatten on the abundant algal and other vegetation of the 
creek, and become too big to get back through the holes to the 
open sea. The plan is not without its drawbacks, however, for 
young Barracudas (Sphyrcena, e. g. 460) enter the creek through 
the stone wall in pursuit of the young Mullet and, when inside, 
feed on the Mullet, and grow too large to get out again. 

The Polynemidse or Thread-fins (459) are allied to the Grey 
Mullets. Like them they are of a bluish silvery colour ; their eyes 
are covered with a filmy skin; the scales, however, are more or 
less ctenoid, and the lowest fin-rays of the pectoral fin are separated 
by an interval from the rest of the fin and consist of long free 
filaments, which are organs of touch, and can be moved in- 
dependently of the functioning fins themselves. In some the 
filaments are twice as long as the body of the fish. The possession 
of these tactile filaments is connected with the partiality of the 
fishes for turbid water. Some of the fishes of this family grow to 
a length of four feet. From the air-bladder of some of the Indian 
species a good quality of isinglass is obtained (1186, Cabinet- 
case 28). 

The Chiasmodontidse, which are represented in the exhibited 
series by Chiasmodon nigrum (978, Cabinet-case 44, and fig. 7, 
p. 18), are fishes of the depths of the mid- Atlantic, with soft flesh and 
feeble spines, reduced scales and reduced gill-covers. The dentition 
is powerful, and some of the front teeth are more or less hinged, so 
as to be capable of being bent back towards the throat. Of the 
few specimens known most have been found floating dead on the 




surface of the ocean, with the body highly distended by a fish as 
large as or even larger than the Chiasmodon itself, so that the 
latter appears to be spread out over the top of a bag containing 
the swallowed fish. The explanation offered is that the Chias- 
modon is extremely voracious and will attack a fish as large as 
itself. When so large a prey has been swallowed, decomposition 
proceeds faster than digestion, and the gases generated cause the 
fish to rise out of its normal depth in the ocean, and as it rises 
through successively higher strata the gases expand and carry the 
body upwards more rapidly than before, and so the fish comes to 
float at the surface, dead. 

Bana- The Sphyrsenidse or Barracudas are long, slender, swift and vora- 
cious fishes, with powerful teeth, developed in sockets. They are 
found in nearly all seas of the temperate and tropical regions, often 
also in estuaries. Some of the tropical species, such as Sphyrcena 
agam (460), Sphyrmna obtusirostris (462, skull, showing teeth in 
sockets), and Sphyrcena commersonii (1019, Table-case 39, 5 ft. 
1 in. long), grow to six feet and are dangerous to persons bathing, 
more so than sharks because less readily frightened away. 
They will even make savage bites at the paddles of a canoe. 
The anterior dorsal fin is supported by spines and is well separated 
from the second or soft dorsal ; the anal fin is opposed to the 
latter ; the scales are cycloid and in regular series ; there is no 
muscular gizzard such as occurs in the Mullets. The flesh of the 
Barracuda is good, but it is poisonous at certain seasons, particu- 
larly in the West Indies. 

romate- The Stromateidae (e. g. 464) are a group of small fishes with 
short, compressed bodies, smooth, small scales, regular in arrange- 
ment, and usually extending over the cheek and bases of the 
median fins. The dorsal and anal fins are much extended, each 
with a few, feeble, crowded spines in the front portion. The 
number of vertebras is unusually large, the jaws and teeth are 
feeble. The most distinctive feature of the btromateidse is the 
possession by the oesophagus of a pair of lateral sacs, the interior 
of which is beset with papillse bearing small teeth. The young 
swim freely near the surface of the open ocean, feeding on pelagic 
crustaceans and the fry of fish, the adults, in many cases at least, 
are inhabitants of the deep sea. The Black-fish or Black Huff, 



Centrolophus niger, 465, of European seas is occasionally, but 
rarely, caught off Britain, as also is the Rudder-fish, Lirus 
perciformis. Stromateus fiatola, 464, the ' Fiatola ' of the Italian 
fishermen, is an excellent food-fish of the Mediterranean. Nomeus 
gronovii, 466, a little fish about three inches long, widely distri- 
buted and common in the Gulf of Mexico, is found sheltering 
from its enemies among the long streamers of the Portuguese 
Man-of-War [Physalia), from which it enjoys a remarkable im- 
munity. As many as ten of these fishes may be found swimming 
about beneath a large Physalia. 

The remarkable deep-sea fish Tetragonurus (463) is allied to the 
Stromateidse, as is shown by the structure of the mouth, the 
dentition, and more particularly the occurrence on each side of the 
oesophagus of a muscular sac studded internally with rather soft 
papillse. There is but a single species, Tetragonurus cuvieri, 
sometimes called the Square-tail. It occurs in the Atlantic, 
Mediterranean, and the South Pacific , but is rare ; it is poisonous 
as food ; it feeds on jelly-fish, and probably lives in the depths of 
the sea by day and comes to the surface at night to feed. The 
young are said to live in the pharyngeal cavity of large Salps. 

The Climbing Perch, Anabas scandens, 468, is so called because 
it is able to climb a sloping bank, to travel over land, and, it has 
been stated, to climb trees, by means of the stout, backwardly 
sloping spines of the anal and pelvic fins and of the gill-cover^ 
which is very movable. The fish holds on to the ground by the 
opercular spines, bends its tail and inserts its anal spines ; it then 
straightens the body and causes the opercular spines to move 
forward over the ground, and then repeats the whole operation. 
The fish wriggles along thus on its side at a fairly rapid rate. The 
Climbing Perch can live a long time out of water; above the gills 
are a pair of large cavities, opening downwards, and divided up by 
thin, scroll-like plates of bone covered with delicate and highly 
vascular mucous membrane, by which air is breathed. The air is 
taken in through the mouth, and is expired through the mouth, 
not through the gill-openings. The Climbing Perch is a fresh- 
water fish of India, Burmah and Malay ; some species of Anabas 
occur in Africa. 

The Snake-head, Ophiocephalus striatus, 467, of the grassy 
swamps of China, India and the Philippine Islands, resembles 






Anabas in its ability to survive long drought. It has an accessory 
suprabranchial cavity for aerial respiration, but the cavity is not 
filled up by a scroll-like labyrinthic organ as it is in the Climbing 
Perch. The Snake-head differs from Anabas also in having 
cycloid instead of ctenoid scales, and in having no spines to the 
fins. It has been naturalised in western North America, where 
it is known as the China-fish, the parental forms having been 
introduced from China. 

Gadifohmes (Cod-fishes, &c). 

Gaii- Included in the suborder Gadiformes are the Cod and its allies, 

Wall- and the Macrurid fishes. The pelvic fins, if present, are set far 

case 11. forward, either below or in front of the pectorals. There are no 

spinous fin-rays in any of the fins (except the first dorsal fin- ray of 

some Macrurid fishes). The tail-fin is symmetrical, the vertebral 

axis is not uptilted. The parietal bones are reduced and are 

separated by the supraoccipital ; the pro-otic and exoccipital bones 

are separated by the opisthotic, which is large. 

Macrurus. The Macruridse (e. g. Macrurus, 472, and fig. 64), called in 

America Rat-tails or Grenadiers, are entirely confined to the deeper 

Fig. 64. — A Deep-sea Fish, Macrurus parallelus. 

parts (120 to 2600 fathoms) of the great oceans, and are common 
in the North Atlantic and Pacific. There are two dorsal fins, the 
first short-based, the second of great horizontal extent. The anal 
fin is also extensive, and, like the second dorsal, reaches to the 
hind extremity of the body, which tapers off to a filament. The 
scales are usually rough and spinous. The eyes are large, the 
mouth is small, and there is usually a single barbel on the chin. 
The pelvic fins are situated below the pectorals and have 
7 to 12 rays. In some of the genera, such as Macrurus, the 
mouth is inferior and the snout conical and prominent and 

COD-FISH. 139 

supported by the enlarged nasal bones. In the less specialised 
forms the mouth is terminal, the scales are cycloid, and the dorsal 
tin is more or less continuous. 

In the Gadidae or Cod-like fishes the mouth is large and Gadidae. 
terminal, bounded above by the premaxillary bones only; the 
cheek-plates are much reduced, the gill-openings wide. In most 
the suture between the two frontal bones has disappeared. The 
pelvic fins are anterior to the pectorals (jugular position). The 
dorsal fin occupies nearly the whole of the back, and in many 
cases is divided up into two or three portions ; the anal fin in like 
manner may be divided into two parts. The scales are small and 
cycloid. The " Cod-fishes " and their allies chiefly inhabit the 
north temperate and arctic seas, but the abyssal forms are of wide 
distribution. The Burbot {Lota vulgaris, 483) occurs in, and is 
confined to, fresh water. Many of the Gadoid fishes are valued as 
food and form the basis of an important fishing industry in 
European and North American seas, and a staple food of the 
people in some of the northern lands. 

The Cod, Gadus morrhua, 476, is a most important food-fish; 
the quantity landed annually at British ports alone is according to 
the latest returns not less than 2,000,000 cwts., the value of 
which is over £1,000,000. The Cod grows to a length of four 
feet and may attain a weight of a hundred pounds. It is a 
northern fish and does not occur nearer the equator than 
40° N. lat. The British forms are greenish or brownish olive, 
with numerous spots, but the more northern forms are darker in 
colour and without or with fewer spots. Cod are caught, by 
means of lines and trawls, at any depth down to 120 fathoms. 
The fishes are kept in ice and sent to market as fresh fish, or they 
are salted. Most of the salted Cod consumed during the Lent 
season comes from Newfoundland. The liver of the Cod yields a 
readily digested oil of great value in the treatment of emaciated 
patients, those suffering from lung complaints benefiting especially. 
The preparation of cod-liver oil is an important industry on the 
Norwegian coast ; the name of the oil must not be taken too 
literally, for the livers of all species of Gadus, not the Cod only, 
are used as a source of it. 

The tail of the Cod, although externally similar to that of most 




Teleostean fishes, e. g. that of the Salmon, being externally 
symmetrical above and below the middle, is internally symmetrical 
also. The vertebral axis is not uptilted, and the hsemal spines of 
the last few vertebrae are not expanded into hypural bones (477). 
The fin-rays of the lower part of the tail-fin are carried by inter- 
spinous bones, and it is probable that the true caudal fin has 
atrophied, and has been replaced by a continuous series of fin-rays 
belonging to the dorsal and anal fins. 

In the Cod and other species of Gadus there are three separate 
fins on the back, and two anal fins between the anus and the tail- 
fin. Of the European species of Gadus other than the Cod the 
most important are the Haddock (474), Whiting (479), Pollack 
(478), Coal-fish (475), Bib (480, skeleton), Poor-cod (481), and 
Haddock. The Haddock, Gadus ceglefinus, 474, is distinguished from the 
Cod by its black lateral line and the blackish patch above the 
pectoral fin. It attains a length of three feet in the arctic 
latitudes, although it is smaller on the southern coasts. Much of 
the fish is eaten fresh, but it is most in favour in the smoked and 
dried condition. 

Whiting. The Whiting, Gadus merlangus, 479, extends from Norway to 
the Mediterranean, and is abundant in shallow water round all the 

Pollack, coasts of Britain and Ireland. The Pollack, Gadus pollachius, 
478, is found in rocky localities along the Atlantic coasts of 
Europe from Norway to the Mediterranean. In the British Isles 
it is commonest off the Devon, Cornish and Irish coasts. It is of 
more interest to the sea-angler than to the regular fisherman. 
Hake. The Hake, Merluccius vulgaris, 473, can be distinguished from 

the species of Gadus by its having two dorsal fins and one anal 
fin. There is no barbel on the chin ; the frontal bones are not 
fused together as in the Cod. The Hake is a large fish, growing 
to four feet in length; it is voracious, with strong teeth, and 
follows the shoals of Mackerel, Pilchards and other migratory fish. 
The flesh is soft and of fair quality, most of it is preserved as 
" Stock-fish." 
Ling. The Ling, Molva vulgaris, 485, is a northern but wide-ranging 

fish ; it is fairly common around the British Isles. Most of the 
Ling caught are cured and dried. 


The Burbot or Eel-pout, Lota vulgaris, 483, is a fresh- water Burbot, 
member of the Cod family. The skin is unpleasantly slimy, and 
has small scales which are embedded so as to give the surface a 
pitted appearance. The colour varies considerably in different 
localities. There is a single barbel which hangs from the middle 
of the chin, and from which the French name Barbotte and the 
English Burbot, meaning "bearded," have arisen. As in the 
Ling there are two dorsal fins, the base of the second covering 
half the entire length of the animal and being balanced below by 
the anal, which, however, is shorter in the base. In England the 
Burbot grows to 1 or 2 feet and attains a weight of 2 or 3 lbs., 
but in the Rhine it grows much larger, sometimes weighing as 
much as 30 lbs. In Alaska it grows to 60 lbs., such a fish being 
not less than 6 feet long. The Burbot is of a retiring disposition, 
and in the daytime lurks in holes and beneath stones. It is 
largely a nocturnal feeder and subsists on small fishes. Its flesh 
is said to be excellent, but it shares with the Pike and Barbel 
the disadvantage of harbouring the young form of a tape-worm 
{Bothriocephalus) which can complete its growth in the human 
body if it is not killed in the process of cooking. The Burbot is 
widely distributed over Central and Northern Europe, extending 
eastward to India, and is also found in North America. In 
England it is very local ; it occurs in the Trent and other rivers of 
the eastern part of England, but not in the Thames. 

While in most of the Cod-like fishes there is a single barbel, in Rockling 
the Rocklings the number is increased. The commonest British 
Rocklings are the Three-bearded Rockling, Motella tricirrhata, 
486, and the Five-bearded Rockling, Onus mustela, 487 ; small 
fishes, with the front dorsal fin reduced to a narrow, delicately- 
rayed fringe, more or less concealed in a longitudinal groove. 

The Greater Fork-beard, Phycis blennioides, 482, though Fork- 
common in the Mediterranean and in the North Atlantic, is only 
occasionally caught off the British coasts ; the exhibited specimen 
was caught at Fleetwood, in Lancashire. There is a single barbel 
on the chin, and the pelvic fins are reduced each to a single long 
ray, forked at the extremity, looking like a forked barbel and 
probably serving the same purpose. 

The series of " Cod-fishes " on exhibition ends with the Torsk, Torsk. 


Brosmius brosme, 488, a large fish of both shores of the North 
Atlantic, with the dorsal and anal fins not divided, and with the 
tail-fin rounded behind, and the Trifurcated Hake, Raniceps tri- 
furcus, 489, a small fish of northern Europe, with a large^ broad, 
depressed and somewhat frog-like head. 


Spiny-fin The suborder Acanthopterygii is a very large one, including the 
Fishes. Perches, Mackerels, Flat-fishes, Gobies, Blennies and Gurnards. 
case 12. The majority of marine fishes belong to this suborder. Except in 
a few cases the foremost rays of the dorsal and anal fins are 
spinous and hard, instead of being jointed and flexible or " soft." 
The upper border of the mouth is supported by the premaxillary 
bones, to the exclusion of the maxillae, which are toothless. The 
right and left parietal bones are separated. The gill-opening is 
in front of the pectoral fin and is usually large. The pelvic fins 
are forwardly placed and their skeleton consists typically of one 
spine and five soft rays ; the pelvic bones are usually firmly con- 
nected with the clavicular arch. 

Perciformes (Perches). 

The Perciformes constitute a large division of the Acantho- 
pterygian fishes and consist chiefly of marine forms. The pelvic 
fins are thoracic in position, i. e. are about as far from the snout 
as are the pectoral fins. The stalk of the tail is rarely much con- 
stricted, and the rays of the caudal fin are not strongly forked at 
the base as they are in the next division (Scombriformes). The 
division is of some antiquity, Berycoid and Serranid fishes being 
found in Upper Cretaceous strata. The existing members are 
widely distributed, but are absent from the arctic and antarctic 
seas. The various families comprising the division Perciformes 
are distinguished the one from the other by the number of gills 
present, the coalescence or distinctness of the two lower pharyngeal 
bones, the presence of two nostrils or one on each side, the 
number of spines and soft rays in the various fins, the presence or 
absence of a shelf of bone projecting from the suborbital bones to 
support the eyeball, the insertion of the ribs either on transverse 



processes of the vertebrae or directly on the centra, and the 
characters of the post-temporal bone, the teeth, and the barbels. 

The Berycoid fishes (e. g. Beryx splendens, 493, Wall-case 12) 
are the most ancient and generalised of the Acanthopterygian 
fishes, and were richly represented in the Upper Cretaceous by 
several genera (e. g. Hoplopteryx , fig. 65) which are closely related 
to, if not identical with, the existing genera. They have a short 


Fig. 65. — Restoration of an extinct form of Beryx, Hophpteryx lewesiensis. 
(After A. S. Woodward.) 

body ; the pelvic fins have an exceptionally large number of fin- 
rays, 6-13 soft rays and one spine. The eyes are large, the cleft 
of the mouth is oblique, the jaws have small teeth, the bones of 
the gill-cover are more or less armed with spines. In the septum 
or partition between the two eyeballs is a bone, the orbitosphenoid, 
which is present in the more primitive Teleostean fishes such 
as the Herriugs and Salmons, but is wanting in the Perches and 
Mackerel-like fishes. 

Some of the Berycoid fishes (e. g. Beryx and Holocentrum, 496) 
have a persistent pneumatic duct to the air-bladder, and this again 
is evidence of the Berycoids constituting a connecting link between 
the Physostomous fishes such as Herrings and Salmons and the 
typical Acanthopterygians such as the Perches. In the recent 
forms and in some of the extinct forms the tail is deeply cleft, and 


the scales are ctenoid and uniform. All are marine, except the 
little Pirate Perch, Aphredoderus say anus of North-American 
fresh waters ; some, like Holo centrum, live at the surface of the 
sea ; others, like Beryx, occur only at great depths and are typical 
members of the deep-sea fauna. The Berycoid fishes do not attain 
a large size ; the exhibited specimen of Beryx splendens (493) is 
an exceptionally large one. Specimens of Beryx are occasionally 
brought to the London markets, not so much from their food 
value as the fact that their bright red colouring makes a fine 
display on the fishmonger's slab. The specimens come mostly 
from the Bay of Biscay and the coast of Portugal. 
Myn- Myripristis (495), like Holocentrum, lives at the surface in 

tropical seas, near the coast ; it is esteemed as food. The fishes 
of the genus are very pugnacious and always ready to quarrel with 
their own kind. In Hawaii the natives take advantage of this 
trait to catch the Uu {Myripristis murdjan). Having obtained 
one alive by a net or other means, they attach a string to it and 
put it back into the water in front of the crevices in the rocks in 
which these fishes lurk. The other fishes soon come out to fight 
it, and the crowd is brought to the surface of the water by slowly 
drawing in the string ; a net is passed cautiously beneath and the 
whole crowd captured. 

The Monocentridse are a small family containing a single genus, 
Monocentris, 500, differing from the Berycidse in the scales being 
larger and stouter, forming a rigid carapace, in the pelvic fins 
being reduced to a single spine with 2 or 3 soft rays, and in the 
stoutness of the spines of the dorsal fin. The Japan species (500) 
is sometimes called the Pine-cone-fish. 

The Centrarchidae are fresh -water fishes of small size, rarely 
exceeding six inches in length, common in North America. The 
principal forms are the Sun-fish (Lepomis), the Black Bass 
(Micropterus), acclimatised in some parts of continental Europe, 
and Kuhlia (501) of Polynesia. They are all valued as food. 

The Lobotidse, a very small family containing two genera only, 

Lobotes, 505, and Datnioides, 504, are allied to the Centrarchidae. 

Loboles is a widely distributed marine form, Datnioides occurs in 

the rivers and estuaries of the Ganges and the East Indies. 

A £h ei " * n l ^ e Toxotidse or Archer-fishes (e. g. Toxotes jaculator, 506) 

PERCH. 145 

the body is rather short and laterally compressed, with cycloid 
scales of moderate size, a pointed snout, with large gape and a 
projecting lower jaw. The dorsal tin is set far back and has five 
strong spines ; the anal fin has three spines. The scales extend 
over the soft portions of both dorsal and anal fins. The Archer- 
fish is a fresh-water fish of the East Indies, Queensland and New 
Zealand. It is so called because of its habit of rising to the 
surface and discharging from its mouth a drop or jet of water 
upon an insect which it perceives resting on a leaf or twig over- 
hanging the water, in order that the insect may fall into the water 
and become an easy prey. The fish continues this entertaining 
practice in captivity, and the Malay people keep the " Ikan 
sumpit," as they call it, for purposes of amusement. 

The Perches (family Percidse) are fresh-water fishes of the 
northern hemisphere, with the spinous dorsal fin longer than the 
soft dorsal, and the latter not much more developed than the anal 
fin ; the anal fin has one or two spines only. The Perch, Perca Perch. 
fluviutlUs, 507, well known to anglers by the conspicuous vertical 
dark bars extending from the back some distance down the sides, 
is a bright-looking fish, rather rough to the touch owing to the 
tine serration of the free edges of the ctenoid scales. Although 
the specific name of the Perch is fluviutilis, the fish is more at 
home in lakes than in rivers ; in fact the Perch cannot spawn in 
places where there is any considerable current. Perches are 
essentially gregarious fish, swimming about and seeking their prey 
in shoals, but as they grow old they become more solitary in their 
habits. It is curious to note that large and small Perch do -not 
associate together ; large Perch, in fact, do not hesitate to devour 
the young of their species. The Perch is a good fish for the 
table, its flesh being firm, clean and white, but most of the 
specimens caught by anglers are discarded, and there is no demand 
for such fish in the British markets. In Russia, on the other 
hand, the Perch is an important article of diet. The size of the 
Perch varies much in different waters, depending largely on the 
relative abundance or scarcity of food. Perch up to 3 lbs. in 
weight are not infrequently caught in Britain ; Frank Buckland 
vouches for the capture of genuine Perch of 4^ lbs. A few cases 
7 or 8 lbs., but there is a suspicion 



that these records may refer to the Sea-perch or Bass (Morone 
labrax, 511, Wall-case 13), which is sometimes found in tidal 
rivers,, but can be readily distinguished by its having 8 to 
10 spines in the front dorsal fin, whereas the true Perch, has 
14 to 16. 
Pope. The Pope, or Ruffe, Acerina cernua, 509, is an obscure little 

fish, found in England, but not in Scotland or Ireland, common 
in Scandinavia, Russia and Siberia. In England it scarcely 
reaches six inches in length, but in Siberia it grows much larger. 
It differs from the Perch in the incomplete separation of the 
spinous dorsal fin from the soft dorsal, and in the border of the 
preoperculum being armed with 10 or 12 spines and the operculum 
with a single spine. It is not known how the name A Pope " 
came to be applied, but the fish has suffered a great deal of per- 
secution in consequence of its unfortunate appellation, for during 
the Protestant movement, in England, when hatred of everything 
savouring of Roman Catholicism was rife, the people of the 
midland towns used to catch the unoffending fishes, fix a cork on 
'the dorsal spines of each, and put them back into the canal or 
stream until, as Frank Buckland describes it, the surface of the 
water for miles was covered with bobbing corks. Hampered 
by the corks and consequently unable to catch any food, the 
unhappily-named fishes were left to die a lingering death. 
Sandra. The largest fishes of the family Percidse are the Pike-perches, 

. : ;'• 

Fm. 66. — Pike-perch, Lucioperca sandra. 

such as the Sandra, Lucioperca sandra, 508, and fig. 66, which is 
a common fish in the lakes and rivers of the continent, although 
absent from Britain, and grows to a length of three or four feet in 



favourable situations and may weigh as much as 25 lbs. It is 
one o£ the most esteemed of fresh-water fishes. It has been 
proposed to naturalise the fish in British waters, but its voracity 
renders it an undesirable inhabitant of streams where Trout and 
other valuable fishes are kept. 

The Sea-perches constitute a very large family, the Serranidae, 
widely distributed around the shores of all tropical and temperate 
seas, while a few are found in the depths of the ocean. They 
differ from the Percidse in having a ledge of bone projecting 
internally from the second suborbital bone to support the eyeball, 
and in other osteological characters. Some of the Sea-perches 
attain to a great size, witness the Epinephelus lanceolatus in 
Table-case 40, which is 7 feet 3 inches long, and the Stereolepis 
gigas in Table-case 46, which is 5 feet long. The species of these 
large fishes are rather difficult to determine, and the name Jew-fish Jew-fish. 

case 13. 

Fig. 67. — A Sea-perch, Serranus cabrilla. 
(From Boulenger, Camb. Nat. Hist., vii, 1904, after Cuv. et Val.) 

is applied indiscriminately to any large specimens of Stereolepis 
or Epinephelus. The specimen of Epinephelus cernioides, 1103, 
although not so large as the two fishes just mentioned, is of 
interest in having been caught in British waters, namely, off the 
coast of Loo in Cornwall. As a general rule these large fishes are 
of a uniform dull brown or greenish colour, in striking contrast 
with the spotting and banding in the young — compare, for 
instance, the young of Epinephelus lanceolatus, 523, Wall-case 13, 



with the adult in' Table-case 40. Epinephelus is a large genus, 
and many of the species do not attain to a greater size than those 
shown in the Wall-case 13. 

The Sea-perches of the genus Serranus are interesting because 
some of them^ such as the Comber, Serranus cabrilla, 524, and 
fig. 67, are hermaphrodite, regularly so and not as an exceptional 
circumstance. A few enter brackish and fresh water. 
Bass. The Bass, Morone labrax, 511, is a form of Sea-perch common 

on the British coasts, appearing in shoals in the shallow seas and 
estuaries between June and September. It is a voracious fish 
with a remarkably large stomach, and it received from the ancient 
Romans the appropriate name of " Lupus " or Wolf. The Greeks 
and Romans esteemed the Bass very highly as a table-fish, but at 
the present day the fish does not enjoy high repute. This is the 
fish that Aristotle declared to be the most cunning of fishes, 
because when surrounded by the net it digs for itself a channel 
through the sand by which to escape. Specimens of 8 or 10 lbs. 
are not uncommon, and authentic cases of Bass of 22 to 28 lbs. 
are on record. 

The Stone-bass, Polyprion americanus, 513, is a fish found in 
the open ocean ; it is sometimes called the Wreck-fish because it 
is often met with in the neighbourhood of floating timber, to 
which it is attracted by the Barnacles, &c. upon which it feeds. 
Murray- Occurring plentifully in the Murray River and other rivers of 
South Australia is the Murray-cod, Oligorus macquariensis (514, 
Wall-case 12, floor), a fish which attains to a length of more than 
three feet and a weight of 100 lbs. It is valued on account of the 
excellent flavour of its flesh, as also, is the Hapaku, Hapiku or 
Hapuku, Oligorus gigas, of the coasts of New Zealand. Another 
genus of large fishes is Lates, represented by Lates calcarifer, 530, 
of the coasts and estuaries of India, South China, and North 
Australia, and a skeleton of Lates niloticus, 55 inches long (Table- 
case 33), a well-known fish of the Nile and other rivers of tropical 
Africa. Mesoprion and Genyoroge are large genera, represented 
in the exhibited series by specimens 541-546 and 537-540. 
Mesoprion bohar, 544, the " Mumea " of Samoa, is poisonous as 
food. Genyoroge sebte, 540, is called the " Government }> Bream 
by the Australian fishermen because of a red-brown mark on the 



side of the body which resembles the government " broad-arrow " 
mark. The fish grows to a weight of several pounds, is much 
esteemed for the table, and is forwarded to market in a smoked 
condition. Aprion virescens, 536, the " Uku " of Hawaii, is a 
green, long-bodied fish, widely distributed through Polynesia, and 
one of the best food-fishes of that region. 

Histiopterus is a genus of rather aberrant fishes of Japan and 
Australian seas, having a strongly compressed body with very 
small scales, and a small mouth set at the end of a much produced 
snout. The teeth are fine, close-set, and equal, and the palate is 
toothless. Histiopterus recurvirostris, 550, is called the " Bastard 

Closely allied to the Serranidae are the Pseudochromididse, in 
which the spines of the dorsal and anal fins are feeble and few. 
The fishes are marine and of generally wide distribution ; most of 
them are small, e. g. Latilus (554) and Malacanthus (555). The 
Tile-fish, Lopholatilus chamaleonticeps, is one of the largest of Tile-fish, 
the family, and is restricted in its distribution, occurring only in 
moderately deep water (70-130 fathoms) in the American part of 
the North Atlantic, It is very brightly coloured ; the triangular 
" fatty fin " on the back of the head is remarkable, and is 
characteristic of the genus Lopholatilus. 

The Tile-fish was first caught in 1879 off Nantucket Island, 
several hundred specimens being obtained. It was found to be an 
excellent table-fish and was expected to become a regular article 
in the American fish markets. For three years it was fairly 
common and many thousands were captured. 

In March 1882 a vast destruction of the Tile-fish took place ; 
millions of the dead fish were found floating on the surface of the 
ocean over an area of some 5000 to 7000 square miles. 
Prof. Verrill has pointed out that at the bottom of the region in 
question there is a band of temperate water (48° to 50° P.) 
between the Arctic current on the one hand and the cold deep 
sea on the other, and that in this temperate band the Tile-fish live 
and breed. He suggests that the heavy gales of the early part of 
1882, and the displacement of much shore ice over the area, caused 
such a chilling of the warm tract of water as to kill off the fishes 
living in it, whose dead bodies were thus scattered far and wide. 


After the wholesale destruction of 1882 it was feared that the 
Tile-fish had become extinct, but in recent years (since 1892) 
specimens have been caught in fair numbers at the usual depths 
of 70 or more fathoms and in the original district, namely around 
40° N. lat. and 72° W. long. This history of the destruction of 
the Tile-fish is important as being one of the very few cases in 
which we know of the almost complete destruction of a species by 
natural causes — that is to say without the intervention of man as a 
hunter or as a carrier of disease. 
Band-fish. Resembling the last family in the feebleness of the spines, of 
which there are only three in the dorsal and one in the anal fin, 
are the Cepolidse or Band-fishes, e. g. the Cepola rubescens, 556, 
a fish common in the Mediterranean and sometimes taken on the 
British coasts. It grows to about 18 or 20 inches, and is of a 
bright red colour. The body is long and band-like, reminding 
one of the Ribbon-fishes (Wall-case 19), with which at one time 
the Cepolidse were classed. The dorsal and anal fins extend 
nearly the whole length of the body. 

The Hoplognathidse of the coasts of Australia, Japan, and Peru, 
with the single genus Hoplognathus (557), have the spinous portion 
of the dorsal fin well developed ; the body is compressed laterally 
and covered with very small ctenoid scales. The chief dis- 
tinguishing feature is the coalesence of the teeth to form a kind 
of beak with a sharp edge. The Sillaginidse, another small family 
with a single genus, Sillago, are small fishes related to the 
Meagres of the next family, the Scisenidse, from which they differ 
in the greater length of the base of the anal fin and the presence 
of teeth on the vomerine bone. There is a separate spinous 
dorsal fin, but it is short-based, as compared with the soft dorsal. 
Sillago ciliata, 559, is known as the " Whiting " in Australia, 
where the true Whiting (Gadus merlangus, 479, Wall-case 11), a 
fish of northern distribution, does not occur. The misapplication 
Names °f popular names in the colonies is due to the early settlers, who, 
coming across an animal new to them, had only three courses open 
to them, to accept the name by which it was known to the natives, 
to invent a new name for themselves, or to apply the nearest or 
least inappropriate name already existing in their vocabulary, and 
in almost all cases they preferred to follow the last course. Thus, 
they called the birds Sparrows and Robins and Thrushes, and the 


fishes Trout and Herring and Whiting, and their children and 
grand-children, who had no opportunity of knowing what the real 
Trout and Whiting were like,, innocently adopted the names used 
by their elders. The ultimate result is that modern colonial 
people visiting England for the first time express surprise at the 
difference which exists between their own animals and the 
similarly-named animals of this country, and rather than rename 
their own, they allude to our British forms as the "English 
Trout," the " English Whiting/' and so on. 

The Scicenidse are fishes common near the sandy shores of all Sciaanidae. 
warm seas, with the soft dorsal much more extensive than the 
spinous dorsal and the anal fins, the pelvic fins thoracic in position, 
and with no teeth on the palate. Some of the fishes attain to a 
great size, and most are edible. Scicena diacanthus is a common 
fish on, the coast of the East Indies, ascending the rivers for a 
great distance from the sea. The specimen of this species in 
Table-case 48 is 6 feet 3 inches long. One of the European Meagre, 
species, Scicena aquila, the Meagre (1101) has an extremely wide 
range, specimens having been caught on the British coast, the 
Cape, and Southern Australia. Corvina (562) differs from Scicena 
in having the second ray of the anal fin strong. 

In Umbrina the snout overhangs the mouth and there is a short 
barbel under the chin. The Umbrina or Ombre, Umbrina cirrhosa, 
566, is an important food-fish of the Mediterranean, and in the 
delicacy of its flavour ranks high ; it was well known to the 
ancients. Pogonias chromis, 564, is called the Drum or Big Drum Drum, 
because of the extraordinary sounds which it produces, drumming 
sounds which can be heard by persons in vessels lying at anchor 
on the coasts of the United States, where the fishes abound. The 
sounds are either produced by the clapping together of the pharyn- 
geal teeth, which are strongly developed, or else by the fishes 
beating their tails against the bottom of the vessel in order to free 
themselves from the parasites that infest their skin. The Drum 
grows to a length of four feet and a weight of 100 lbs. Micropogon 
(563) differs from Pogonias chiefly in that the pharyngeal teeth 
are conical instead of being flat-topped and adapted for crushing 
(see pharyngeal teeth of the Drum, 565). 

The Gerridae (e. g. Gerres, 574, nndEquula, 575, Wall-case 14) Wa fl- 
are small, silvery fishes common in tropical seas and frequently ease 14 


also in fresh water. The mouth is very protractile and descends 
when thrust out; the dentition is feeble, and the lower pharyngeal 
bones are fused together. The Latrididse are a small family of 
southern fishes of large size, related to the Serranidae on the one 
hand and the Haplodactylidse on the other. The species of Latris 
are among the most important food-fishes of Australia and New 
Trum- Zealand. The Trumpeter, Latris hecateia, 576, grows to 50 or 
pe ( 60 lbs., and Latris ciliaris, 577, to 20 lbs. The Haplodactylidse 
(e. g. Haplodactylus, 580, and Chilodactylus, 579) differ from the 
last in the anal fin being shorter, but agree with them in the 
pelvic fins being set relatively far back ; they bear some resem- 
blance to the Sparidse, but differ iu having the lower rays of the 
pectoral fin thickened and not branched. The Pristipomatidse 
(Pristipoma, 581, and Dia gramma, 586) is > another family of no 
special interest. 

The Sea-breams and Snappers belong to the family Sparidse ; 
they are coast fishes, widely distributed, and mostly carnivorous. 
The spinous and soft portions of the dorsal fin are continuous and 
nearly equal in extent ; the lower rays of the pectoral fin are 
branched ; the lower pharyngeal bones are separate. The genera 
of the family are distinguished the one from the other chiefly by 
the characters of the teeth. In Chrysophrys, 606, and other 
. forms, such as Sargus, Lethrinus, Splicer odon, Pagrus, and 
Pagellus, which feed on hard -shelled crustaceans and molluscs, 
the hinder teeth are strongly developed as molars. In such 
genera as Cantharus, Box, Crenidens, Dipterodon, and Gymno- 
crotapkus, on the other hand, the teeth at the front of the jaw are 
moderately broad, cutting teeth, and there are no molar teeth. 

Dentex vulgaris, 589, is one of the larger species of the genus. 
It is common in the Mediterranean, and is sometimes caught on 
the south coast of England. The Old-wife, Cantharus lineatus, 
587, with numerous longitudinal bands on the sides of the body, 
is also sometimes found in the English Channel. 
Sheers- ^ e Sheep's-head of the United States, 594, is the largest 
head. species of the genus Sargus ; it attains to a weight of 15 lbs. and 
a length of three feet, and is highly esteemed on account of the 
excellence of its flesh ; it is common in sandy bays from Cape Cod 
to Texas. Several species of Sargus occur in the Mediterranean 


and the neighbouring parts of the Atlantic Ocean, and are popu- 
larly known as Sargo, Saragu, Sar, names derived from the word 
" Sargus," by which these fishes were well known to the ancient 
Greeks and Romans. In some of the Mediterranean species of 
Sparidse hermaphroditism is of normal occurrence. 

The well-known " Pagro " of the Mediterranean is Pagrus 
vulgaris, 596, an important food fish, found also off Madeira and 
the Canary Islands. The Snapper, Pagrus unicolor (fig. 68 ; Snapper. 
597, skeleton) of the seas of Australia and New Zealand is con- 
sidered very good eating, and attains a length of three feet and a 

Fig. 68. — Snapper, Pagrus vnicohi 

weight of 20 lbs. Pagrus argyrops of the coasts of the United 
States is an important food-fish, and is known as the Scup, Porgy, 
or Mishcup. Another species of Pagrus is the famous Red Tai 
{Pagrus major) of Japan, a crimson fish which is as much a 
national emblem of that land as the rising sun arid the 

The Gilt-head or Dorade, Pagrus auratus, 605, and fig. 69, is a Gilt-head, 
common food-fish of the Mediterranean, and is occasionally taken 
off the south coast of England. It was one of the fishes that were 
kept in captivity by the ancient Romans. The fish is called 
" Gilt-head" because of the brilliant golden spot, band, or 
crescent between the two eyes ; the name Dorade, sometimes spelt 
Daurade, is clearly derived from the Latin "aurura," gold, and 




refers to the same distinctive mark. The ancient Greeks called 
it " Chrysophrys," signifying " Golden-Eyebrow," a word which 
at the present day is employed to designate a genus of the 
Sparidse to which at one time the Gilt-head was referred. 

The Sea-bream, Pagellus centrodontus, 602, is not in any way 
related to the Bream (349, Wall-case 8), which is a fish allied to 


Fig. 69. — Gilt-head or Dorade, Pagrus auratvs. 
A, view of the widely open mouth showing the form of the teeth. 
(From Boulenger, Camb. Nat. Hist., vii, 1904, after Cuv. et Val.). 

the Carps. The fish that the fishermen of Cornwall and Devon 
call the " Chad" is a young Sea-bream, without the black spot 
at the front of the lateral line that distinguishes the adult. The 
Cape Sea-bream, Pagellus lithognathus , 601, is larger than the 
British and Mediterranean species. 

The Red Mullets (family Mullidse) have affinities with the last 
family, the Sparidse, but can readily be distinguished by the pair 
of erectile barbels which project downward and forward when the 
fish is feeding on the sea bottom, but lie back in grooves when the 
fish swims about. The two dorsal fins are separated and short- 
based, and the spines supporting the anterior one are feeble. 
Most of the Mullidse are tropical fishes, but the common Red 
Mullet, Mullus barbatus, 609, occurs in Europe. The Red Mullet 
has long been famed for the delicate flavour of its flesh. It was 


prized by the ancient Greeks and Romans, who paid extravagant 
prices for large specimens. The brilliant red colour of the skin 
which adds to the attractiveness of the Red Mullet as a table fish 
fades when the fish dies, but can be " fixed " by scaling the fishes 
directly they are caught, a process which causes the colour-cells or 
chromatophores to die in a fully expanded condition. Almost all 
the Red Mullet that finds its way to the London Markets is 
caught off the coast of Cornwall. The fish does not grow large, 
one of 15 inches in length and 2 lbs. or %\ lbs. in weight would 
be considered above the average. The Surmullet is by some 
authorities regarded not as a distinct species, but the female of the 
Common Red Mullet. Upeneus (610-612) is a tropical genus of 
wide distribution. 

The Scorpididse are fishes of tropical and southern seas, the 
most remarkable of which is Psettus sebcs (614), in which the 
height of the body is greater than the length. The body is much 
laterally compressed ; the dorsal and anal fins are long in the base 
and are almost covered over with scales. The Boar-fish, Capros Boar-fisl 
aper, 615, of the small family Caproidae, is a fish of the Eastern 
Atlantic and Mediterranean, sometimes caught in the English 
Channel. The mouth is very protractile, the surface of the body 
is very rough to the touch owing to the scales being not merely 
ctenoid, i. e. with a comb-like free edge, but spiny. 

The Chsetodontidse are tropical, marine fishes occurring in Cheeto- 
abundance in the neighbourhood of coral reefs. They are 
carnivorous, feeding on small invertebrates; most are of small 
size and some are of exquisite beauty of design and coloration. 
Yellow and black are the leading combinations ; there is not 
infrequently a black band passing down across the eye and one or 
more striking black spots at the root of the tail or on the fins.- 
The Chsetodonts are sometimes called Butterfly-fishes from their 
brilliant coloration. The body is laterally compressed, the scales 
are small and extend on to the dorsal and anal fins. The teeth 
are close-set and minute and slender, whence the name of the 
family, signifying ' bristle-toothed/ The mouth is small and 
frequently is set at the end of a prolonged snout. The spinous 
and soft portions of the dorsal fin are continuous. 

Chatodon (616-621) is a genus with many species. The fishes 



are small and very active in their movements. Chelmo (622) 
differs from Chatodon in having the snout produced into a more 
or less long tube. The fish is said to throw a jet of water from its 
mouth so that it lights upon an insect resting upon a leaf and 
causes it to fall into the water, when the fish seizes it. The 
statement, however, has probably arisen from a confusion between 
this fish and the Archer-fish, Toxotes jaculator (506, Wall- 

Fig. 70. — Heniochus macrolepidotus. 

case 12), which is known to catch insects in this manner. The 
Chelmo is a salt-water fish, and it is highly improbable that it 
feeds on insects at all. 

Heniochus macrolepidotus (623-624, and fig. 70) has the fourth 


dorsal spine greatly elongated and thread-like ; the colours vary 
in different specimens, although the arrangement of the light and 
dark bands is much the same in all (compare 623 and 624). 
These fishes are among the commonest in the tropical Indo-Pacific 

The species of Holacanthus are known generally as Angel-fishes, Angel - 
the name being specially applied to Holacanthus ciliaris, 629; 
they are larger than those of Chatodon and not less bright in the 
coloration ; they have a stout spine projecting backward from 
the preopercular bone which is wanting in Chaetodon. They are 
all esteemed as food, particularly the Holacanthus imperator (627), 
which attains a length of 15 inches. 

The genus Pomacanthus includes American fishes only; they 
are larger than the species of Holacanthus, and have about 10 
spines in the dorsal fin instead of 14. The young are brightly 
coloured, frequently with yellow bands, and they differ among 
themselves considerably in their coloration ; the adults are blackish. 
The Paru, Pomacanthus para, 632, is a well-known fish of the 
West Indies. 

In Scatophagus (633) and Ephippus (635) there is more 
distinction between the spinous and soft portions of tbe dorsal fin 
than in the majority of the Chsetodonts, owing to the presence of 
a fairly deep notch, and the scales do not spread over the spinous 
portion ; the preopercular spine is wanting. Scatophagus argus 
(633) is a common Indian shore fish, and is sometimes caught in 
the rivers. Old specimens of an Atlantic species of Ephippus Ephippus. 
(Ephippus faber, 635) show almost constantly bulbous enlarge- 
ments of the frontal and supraoccipital bones (636), and sometimes 
also of the foremost neural spines. These swellings have been 
attributed to a diseased condition of the bones; whether or no 
this is the correct explanation, the right and left symmetry of the 
swellings, the constancy of their occurrence in old fishes, and the 
limitation of them to the bones above mentioned are features of 

The family Drepanidse contains a single species, Drepane 
punctata, 637, occurring in the Indian Ocean and North Australian 
seas, closely related to the Chaetodontidae, but distinguishable by 
the very long, curved pectoral fins. 


Surgeon- The Surgeon-fishes, fishes belonging to the genus Acanthurus, 
w^_ are readily recognised by the single, sharp, lancet-shaped spine 

case 15. with which each side of the tail is armed. When at rest the 
spine is hidden in a sheath, when erected it is a most dangerous 
weapon, which the fish uses by lashing the tail to right and 
left (647, Acanthurus chirurgus, the Surgeon-fish proper; 650, 
Acanthurus sohal, which is mounted with the back towards the 
observer so that the spines may be the better distinguished ; and 
651, a skeleton of Acanthurus lineatus, showing the relation of 
the spine to the caudal vertebrae). The spines are absent in very 
young individuals. The young Surgeon-fishes are more circular 
in outline than the adults, and are more compressed and have no 
scales; they were formerly thought to be distinct fishes and were 
described under the generic name Acronurus. 

The Acanthuridre are herbivorous or partly carnivorous fishes, 
common in tropical seas in the neighbourhood of coral reefs ; 
they are fairly closely allied to the Chsetodontidae (Wall-case 14) 
and lead on towards the File-fishes (Wall-case 20). The maxillary 
is fused with the premaxillary bone, the mouth is small and not 
protractile, the jaws have either bristle-like or incisor-like teeth ; 
there are no teeth on the palate ; the post-temporal bone is fused 
with the cranium. The scales are minute and rough, either 
ctenoid or spiny; the dorsal and anal fins are long-based, the 
dorsal has the spinous portion less developed than the soft portion 
and not separated from it. Acanthurus lineatus (of which a 
skeleton is shown, 651) is a poisonous fish, producing " Ciguatera" 
similar to that caused by eating the flesh of the File-fishes. 

Unicorn- Naseus, the Unicorn-fish, 643-645, and fig. 71, has usually two 
^ s ^- spines at the side of the stalk of the tail, one in front of the other, 
and these are not erectile as are those of Acanthurus. The 
name Unicorn-fish is applied because of a bony horn projecting 
forward above the mouth, sometimes two inches long in a fish of a 
length of 20 inches. This horn is continuous with the bones of 
the cranium (see skeleton 645), and is said to be used by the fish 
as it butts up against the coral. Prionurus (642) differs from 
Naseus in having a series of about six bony laminse on each side 
of the tail instead of distinct spines. 

The Teuthididas (652-654) differ from the Acanthuridas in the 


pelvic fins having the inner and outer rays spinous, with three 
soft rays between. They are herbivorous and do not grow longer 
than 15 inches ; they are confined to the Indo-Pacific Ocean. 

Fig. 71. — Unicorn-fish, Naseus unicornis. 

In the Osphromenidse there is much variation in the extent of 
the dorsal and anal fins, the spines of which are in some cases 
numerous, in others absent ; the pelvic fins may have five soft 
rays, or the number may be reduced to one. A suprabranchial 
accessory organ of respiration is present ; it is a paired organ 
situated in cavities behind the cranium. The fishes are confined 



Fig. 72. — Gourami, Osphromenus ulfax. 
to the fresh-waters of Africa and Southern Asia. The Gourami, Gourami. 
Osphromenus olfax, 655, and fig. 72, is the largest fish of the 
family, and is one of the choicest food-fishes of the East. It is a 


native of the Malay Archipelago, and has been introduced with 
success into India and Mauritius. The Gourami is essentially a 
vegetarian, but in a state of domestication is omnivorous and will 
consume meat, fish, frogs, insects, worms, and many kinds of 
vegetables, whence it has gained from the French colonists of 
Mauritius the name " pore des rivieres," or " water-pig. - " 

Fighting- The Fighting-fish or Pla-kat of Siam [Betta pugnasc, 656) is 
8 " widely known as a pugnacious little fish. When the fish is quiet 
its colouring is dull, but in the presence of another of its kind it 
becomes excited in demeanour and the body shines with dazzling 
metallic colours, while the gill-cover is pushed out and forms a 
kind of black frill around the throat. The fish makes repeated 
darts at its antagonist, and the fight lasts until the fishes are 
tired. If the fight be interrupted by removing one of the 
combatants to another vessel, both become quiet and dull-coloured. 
The Siamese keep these fishes in glass bowls for the express 
purpose of watching the fights, and they will pit their favourite 
against another's, and stake large sums of money on the result of 
the fight. 

Cichlidse. The Cichlidse and the following family, the Pomacentridse, have 
a single nostril on each side, whereas in all the other families of 
Acanthopterygian fishes there are two nostrils on each side. 
There are four gills on each side in the Cichlidse, but only 3^ in 
the three following families, the Pomacentridee, Labridse and 
Scaridse. The two lower pharyngeal bones are fused together in 
the Cichlidse, but less completely than in those three families. 
The Cichlidse (657-658, and fig. 73) are fresh-water or brackish- 
water fishes of tropical and sub-tropical America, Africa and India. 
Our knowledge of these fishes has greatly increased of recent years 
in consequence of investigations in Lake Tanganyika, the fish 
fauna of which is largely made up of Cichlid, or as they were 
formerly called, Chromid fishes. The division of the family is 
based upon the characters of the spines and teeth, the latter 
exhibiting a wide range of variation. E tropins (657) is an Indian 
genus ; Tilapia (658) is African, and, like several other African 
Cichlids, is remarkable for the care with which the female parent 
guards the eggs from danger by carrying them about in the mouth. 
This habit is, curiously enough, shared by an entirely unrelated 


fish, the Arius (376, Wall-case 10, floor), a fish of the family 
Siluridse. In some of the American forms, such as Cichla, the 

Fig. 73. — Bulti 7 Chromis idloticus. 

males develop on the top of the head a hump which disappears 
after the breeding season. 

The Pomacentridse (662-666) are small fishes (see Dascyllus, 
fig. 74) intermediate in character between the Cichlidse and the 


Fig. 74. — Dascyllus aruanus, nat. size. 
(From GLinther, "Study of Fishes.") 

Labridas, occurring in warm and tropical seas, frequently of 
brilliant coloration, and living in the neighbourhood of coral reefs. 




The species of Amphiprion (662) are among the smallest. Some 
of the Australian forms are of interest because of their habit of 
associating with species of giant Sea-anemone (Discosoma) . On 
pushing a stick into the mouth orifice of one of these Sea- 
anemones there almost invariably dart out two or three of the 
little fishes, which return into the interior of the anemone when 
the disturbance is over. 

Fig. 75. — Ballan Wrasse, Labrus maculatus. 


The Wrasses (family Labridse, 667-692, and fig. 75) have [the 
lower pharyngeal bones completely fused (673, and fig. 76), and 

Fig. 76. — Upper and lower pharyngeal bones of 
the Ballan Wrasse, Labrus maculatus. 

bearing conical or tuberculate teeth ; the front teeth of the jaws 
are conical, the lateral teeth more or less coalesced at the base, 


the palate without teeth. The fishes have thick, fleshy lips 
(whence the German popular name " Lippflsch "), and a slimy 
skin with cycloid scales. 

The Labridse are of wide distribution, occurring among- the 
rocks and sea-weed of the coasts of all tropical and temperate seas. 
They are good eating, although the flesh is too soft and glutinous 
to suit some palates; they have no great commercial value and 
only And their way to certain markets. The colours are brilliant 
and vary considerably in different individuals of the same species, 
and in many cases there is a regular difference in colouring 
between the male and female during the breeding season. In the 
Cuckoo or Striped Wrasse, for instance (Labrus mixtus, 668), 
the male usually has blue streaks or a blackish band along the 
body, while the female has two or three large black blotches across 
the back of the tail. The male loses his bright colours in the 
winter, and three dark spots similar to those of the female, but 
fainter, then become apparent. The female was formerly supposed 
to be a distinct species from the Cuckoo Wrasse and was called 
the Three-spotted Wrasse. The Wrasses proper (genera Labrus, 
Crenilabrus, Ctenolabrus, Acantholabrus) are confined to the seas 
of Europe and northern Africa. They build nests of masses of 
soft sea-weed, tightly crammed into rock crevices, with the large 
amber-coloured eggs evenly dispersed through the mass. Both 
sexes take part in the building of the nest. 

Occurring commonly in rocky, seaweed-clad parts of our coasts, 
particularly the southern coasts, are, besides the Cuckoo Wrasse 
above mentioned, the Ballan Wrasse, Labrus maculatus, 670, 
fig. 75, a larger fish than the former, attaining a weight of 7 or 
8 lbs. ; the Gold-sinny or Corkwing, Crenilabrus melops, 676, 
rarely exceeding nine inches in length, a brownish or reddish fish 
with dark bands down the sides, and rings, sometimes with dark 
centres, on the fins, the female distinguishable by a black spot 
immediately in front of the tail fin ; Ctenolabrus rupesti'is, Acantho- 
labrus palloni and Centrolabrus exoletus, the last, known as the 
Rock-cook, being a more northern form than most of the Wrasses, 
occurring even on the coast of Greenland. Julis vulgaris (685) 
and Julis giofredi (686) are common Mediterranean fishes 





occasionally found on the south coast of England; it has been 
stated that (hey are respectively the male and female of the same 
species of fish. Lachnolaimus falcatus (677), with the first three 
spines of the dorsal fin produced into streamers, is the Hog-fish of 
the West Indies. Epibulus (680) and Gomphosus (691) are 
remarkable for their long snout, with terminal mouth. 

The Scaridse or Parrot-fishes (693-701, and fig. 77) are allied 
to the Wrasses, but have the teeth of the jaws so coalesced as to 
form beaks (see skeleton of Pseudoscarus, 1028, Table-case 32), 
These beaks are extremely hard and are used by the fish to bite 
off pieces of coral, which together with molluscs and sea-weed 
make up the sum of their food. The right and left lower 

Fig. 77. — Parrot-fish, Pseudoscarus troschelli. 

pharyngeal bones are completely fused and are armed with flat- 
topped teeth which bite against similar teeth borne by the upper 
pharyngeal bones, and are used to grind up the pieces of coral and 
the shells of the molluscs. 

The Parrot-fishes are brilliantly, some gaudily, coloured, and 
the largest species grow to three or four feet. Some are valued as 
food, others are reputed to be poisonous. Scarus cretensis (694), 
a Mediterranean form, was much esteemed as food by the ancients. 
It feeds almost entirely on sea-weed, but sometimes on molluscs ; 
if the fish has been feeding on the mollusc known as the Sea-hare 


(Aplysia) it causes violent diarrhoea when eaten. Odax (700) is 
a southern genus, occurring on the coasts of Australia and New 
Zealand ; the edges of the jaws are sharp and the individual 
teeth composing them cannot be distinguished. Coridodax 
pullus (701) is the Kelp-fish or Butter-fish of New Zealand; it 
lives on the small organisms growing on sea-weed, and is largely 
used as food. 

Scombriformes (Mackerels) . 

The Scombriform fishes, including the Mackerels, Horse- 
mackerels, Sword-fishes and their allies, are closely connected 
with the Perciformes; they are carnivorous and marine and many 
are of wide distribution. The spinous dorsal fin, if distinct, is 
supported by short or feeble slender spines. The pelvic fins 
are thoracic in position, with not more than five soft rays in 
addition to the spine ; rarely without the spine but with more 
than five jointed rays. The stalk of the tail is much constricted ; 
the rays of the caudal fin are usually numerous and strongly 
forked at the base, embracing a considerable portion of the 
expanded hypural bones. The scales are usually very small or 

The first family, the Scombrida?, includes fishes like the 
Mackerel (704), Bonito (709), and Tunny (707), with fusiform 
body, not laterally compressed, with pectoral fins set rather high 
up the sides of the body, with a distinct lateral line, with wide 
gape and conical teeth. The premaxillary bones are large and 
not protractile. There are no free spines in the dorsal and anal 
fins ; the soft dorsal fin, the hinder part of which is in most cases 
broken up into finlets, is longer than the spinous portion ; the 
hind part of the anal fin may, like the dorsal, be in the form of 
separate finlets. The Scombrid fishes are abundant in all the 
seas of the tropical and temperate zones ; they include some of the 
swiftest inhabitants of the sea, and not only are they extremely 
active, but they have great powers of endurance. Their muscles 
are of a redder colour than those of most fishes and more resemble 
those of warm-blooded animals. They spawn in the open sea. 


Most are pelagic, a few occur in the depths of the sea ; many, such 
as the Mackerel and Tunny, are valued as food. 
Mackerel. In the Mackerel, Scomber scombrus, 704, the fins are small, 
and the tail is deeply forked. The colours are beautiful and the 
general design is a dark green-blue on the back, with about 30 
irregular black bands across the back and down the sides, and with 
a delightful play of pink and pale green on the belly according to 
the position in which the fish is held. This sheen is observable 
in the dried skin and is due to an interference of light-waves 
caused by minute particles of guanin or some other substance of a 
uric acid nature in the skin. 

The Mackerel ranges from the south of Norway to the Canary 
Isles, and throughout the Mediterranean, also along the Atlantic 
coasts of the United States of America. Like the Anchovy it 
invades the North Sea during the summer months and retires 
before the winter. The shoals of Mackerel follow the Clupeoid 
fishes in their migrations ; on the British coasts they usually leave 
the open sea and approach the land in their pursuit of the young 
Pilchards and Sprats. The Mackerel is generally taken near the 
surface in drift nets and occasionally near the bottom in trawls j 
the most productive British fisheries are off the south-west coasts 
of England and Ireland. 

The Spanish Mackerel, Scomber colias, 706, is essentially a 
fish of the Mediterranean and adjacent Atlantic, but occasional 
stragglers are caught as far north as the Channel Isles and the 
English coast. It is sometimes called the Spotted Mackerel because 
of the distinctive blotches or spots ; it has an air-bladder, which 
is wanting in the common Mackerel. 

In the genus Thunnus the anal and the second dorsal fins have 
each from 7 to 10 Unlets, and the front, undivided portions are 
deep and short-based ; the stalk of the tail has a distinct lateral 
keel supported by a bony ridge of the vertebral centra ; the 
pelvic fins are small, the pectorals are more or less elongate ; the 
scales of the pectoral region are crowded and form what is called 
Tunny, the ' corselet/ The Tunny [Thunnus thynnus, fig. 4, p. 14) is one 
of the largest Tel eostean fishes, and grows to 10 feet and a weight 
of 1,000 lbs. It is abundant in the Mediterranean and ranges to 


the south coast of England and southwards to Tasmania. The 
specimen exhibited in Table-case 38 was caught at Weymouth, 
and is 8 feet 4 inches long. The Tunny fishery is a regular 
industry in the Mediterranean and has been so since the time of 
the ancient Romans, to whom the salted flesh of the Tunny was 
known as " Saltamentum sardicum." Thunnus pelamys, the 
Bonito, 709, ranges over all the tropical and temperate seas and Bonito. 
is well known to sailors, to whom it affords good sport. It rarely 
exceeds three feet in length. The Bonito pursues the Flying-fish, 
indeed, the sudden appearance of a crowd of Flying-fish above the 
surface of the sea generally points to the presence of a Bonito or 
some similar Scombroid fish. ' Albacore' is a sailors' name for Albacore. 
•any species of Thunnus with long pectoral fins ; it probably 
includes other species than Thunnus alalonga (1021, Table-case 38) 
and Thunnus albacora. The Bonito and Albacore are preyed 
upon by the Sword-fish, which is their chief enemy, and also by 

In Cybium (711), as in Thunnus, there is a firm keel at the 
side of the stalk of the tail, but the teeth of the jaws are 
large and strong; they are laterally compressed and are disposed 
in a single series. The scales are more reduced than in most 
Scombroid fishes. The species of Cybium occur in the tropical 
parts of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, frequenting the coast 
region rather than the open sea ; they grow to four or five feet in 

Elecate (712) stands rather apart from the Scombrida? in having 
no detached finlets in the hinder part of the dorsal and anal fins. 
It is placed in a family by itself, the Ilhachicentridie, lihachi- 
centrum being an earlier name than the more familiar Elecate. 
The spinous dorsal fin is reduced to about eight small spines, 
which are free and unconnected by fin-membrane; the pectoral 
fins are not set high up the sides of the body, the head is depressed, 
and there is no keel on the side of the tail. 

Wall-case 16 is occupied by the family Carangidae, fishes allied Wall- 
to the Mackerels (Scombridse, Wall-case 15), but not having 
separated finlets in the hinder parts of the dorsal and anal fins. 




The dorsal spines are few ; the anal fin usually has one or two 
spines detached from the rest of the fin. The scales are either 

Fig. 78 — Yellow-tail, Seriola lalandii. 

small or absent ; frequently there are enlarged scutes on the 
sides of the body and tail ; the premaxillary bones are more or 
less protractile. The Carangid fishes have a wide range, and 
are found in tropical and temperate 'seas. The principal genera 
are Caranx (Horse-Mackerels), Seriola (Yellow-tails, fig. 78), 
Naucrates (Pilot-fish, fig. 79), Trachynotus and^C/wrinemus. The 

Fig. 79. — Pilot-fish, Naucrates ductor. 

genus Caranx is represented in British seas by the Scad, Caranx 
trachurus, 719, the young of which live in small parties in the 
neighbourhood of jelly-fish, and seek shelter beneath them when 
disturbed. Other species shown are Caranx affinis, C. ciliaris, 
and C. speciosus, all from the Indian Ocean. The name Yellow- 
tail is applied to any species of Seriola, but more particularly to 
Seriola lalandii (721, and fig. 78) of the Southern Atlantic and 
Seas of Japan ; Seriola gigas (722) and S. dumerilii (723) are 
also shown. 


The Pilot-fish, Numerates ductor, 725, and fig. 79, is a pelagic Pilot-fish, 
fish found in association with large fish, especially Sharks. It is 
named Pilot-fish because of its supposed habit of conducting 
the Shark towards suitable prey. The association with the Shark 
may, however, be possibly due to the fact that the Naucrates 
feeds on the parasites that infest the Shark, and also on small 
pieces of flesh that escape the Shark when feeding, while the 
well-established fact that the Pilot-fish is not attacked by the 
Shark may rather find its explanation in the superior agility 
of the former than in any sentimental reciprocity on the part 
of the Shark. The Pilot-fish is known to follow ships for long 
distances for the sake of the refuse thrown overboard, but it 
usually deserts the ship on nearing land. It occurs in all 
tropical and temperate seas and attains a length of about twelve 
inches. The remaining Carangid fishes exhibited are of no special 

At the top of Wall-case 17 the family Trichiuridae is represented Wall- 
by the Hair-tail, Trichiurus lepturus, 739, and the Scabbard-fish, case i7 * 
Lepidopus caudatus, 738, Ruvettus pretiosus, 741, and Thyrsites 
atun, 740. In the Trichiuridae the premaxillary bones are not 
protractile as they are in the previous family, the Carangidae ; 
the body is elongate and laterally compressed ; the spinous 
portion of the dorsal fin is much longer than the soft portion 
and the spines more or less feeble; there are no free spines to the 
dorsal and anal fins ; the pectoral fins are set low down the sides 
of the body, the scales are small or absent. The fishes of this 
family are pelagic and widely distributed, and many occur at 
great depths. In the Hair-tail (739) the body is ribbon-like, Hair-tail. 
and tapers to a point behind, there being no caudal fin ; in the 
Scabbard-fish (738) the dorsal fin is not divided into spinous 
and soft portions, and the pelvic fins are wanting. Two other 
fishes belonging to this family, Lepidopus tenuis, 971, and 
Aphanopus carbo, 982, are shown in the case of Deep-sea 
Fishes, Cabinet-case 44, and a specimen of EuoxymetojJon poeyi, 
1096, six and a half feet long, from Mauritius, is shown elsewhere 
in the Gallery. 



The Sword-fishes (Xiphiidae and Histiophoridae) are too large 
to exhibit in the Wall-case among the families to which they 
are most nearly related, and are placed in the special case 
(24) that stands in the centre of the Gallery. The only 
specimens representing these families in the Wall-case are three 
vertebra; (742) from the tail region of a large Sail-fish (Histio- 
phorus) showing how the caudal vertebrae interlock by means 
of forwardly directed laminae of bone arising from the front of 
the neural and haemal spines. A somewhat similar but less 

Fig. 80. — A Sword-fish, or Sail-fish, Histiophorus gladius. 

case 24. 

pronounced interlocking occurs in the tail vertebrae of the 
Mackerel (see 705, Wall-case 15). 

The Sword-fishes (Floor-case 24) are among the largest of 
the Teleostean fishes, and may attain a length of fifteen feet. 
They live in the open ocean, and are strong and rapid swimmers. 
The Sword-fishes of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, sometimes 
called Sail-fishes, belong to the genus Histiophorus (fig. 80), 
and have long, narrow pelvic fins. The Sword-fishes of the 
genus Xiphias are of world-wide distribution, and have no pelvic 
fins ; they have transverse processes to the vertebrae and short 
ribs, whereas Histiophorus has not. In the Histiophoridae there 
is, at the front of the lower jaw, a supernumerary bone known 
as the predentary bone ; this is wanting in Xiphias. The 
" sword " or rostrum is formed by the prolongation of the 


premaxillary and maxillary bones, and is an important weapon 
of offence. The Sword-fishes frequently attack Whales, though 
for what purpose is not clear, and so great is the strength of 
the fish when rapidly moving that the " sword " is occasionally 
driven into the timbers of a ship, as is shown in the specimen 
on the floor of the case (1081, fig. 81). In very young specimens 
of the Sword fish the upper jaw is not longer than the lower. 
The large dorsal fin of perfect specimens is said to project above 
the surface of the water and to act more or less as a sail. In 
old specimens the dorsal fin is very greatly reduced in height, 
except at the anterior end. In addition to the complete specimens 
of Histiophorus gladius and H. brevirostris are shown a skeleton 

Fig. 81. — Part of the timber of a ship pierced by Sword-fishes. 

and a skull of H. brevirostris and the rostrum of a large Histio- 
phorus gladius. 

Returning to the consideration of Wall-case 17, the familv Wall- 
Bramidse is represented by Ray's Bream, Brama raii, 746 • (a ca se 17. 
fish not related to the Common Bream, 349, Wall-case 8, nor 
to the Sea-bream, 602, Wall-case 14), and Pteraclis velifer, a 
fish of the Indian Ocean with remarkable enlargement of the 
dorsal and anal fins. The family Coryphamidte includes the 
Dolphin-fishes, the commonest species of which is Coryphcena Dolphin. 
hippuris, 744, and fig. 82, p. 172, of wide distribution in warm seas 
and common in the Mediterranean. These fishes have a short, 
deep snout, not protractile ; there are no free spines in the dorsal 
and anal fins, and the pectoral fins are inserted rather low down 



the sides. The Dolphins are so called from a confusion between 
them and the Porpoise-like animals of that name. They are 
pelagic in habit and pursue the Flying-fish; they are powerful 
swimmers and attain a length of six feet. The display of rapidly 
changing and flashing colours seen when the fish is taken out 
of the water is of short duration, and the fish when dead is 
dull in colour. The flesh is highly esteemed. 

On the floor of Wall-case 17 is shown a remarkable, clumsy- 
looking fish, Luvarus imperialis, 743, the sole species of the 
family Luvaridae. It is widely distributed over the world, but 
is not commonly met with ; occasionally, as in the case of the 
specimen exhibited which was caught at Guernsey, the fish is 
found in British waters. The mouth is small and set low down 

Fig. 82. — Dolphin, Coryphcena Mppurus. 

the head and has a feeble dentition ; the dorsal and anal fins 
are supported by inarticulated, widely-set rays, and there are 
no free dorsal or anal spines. The pectoral fins are inserted 
low down, and the pelvic fins are much reduced. The surface 
of the body is rough, with minute scales. 

Zeorhombiformes (Flat-fishes, &c). 

The Zeorhombiform fishes depart from the typical Perch-like 
fishes in having the body strongly compressed and with the 
precaudal region very short, the abdominal cavity being com- 
paratively small and the anus set well forward. The fin-rays 
of the pelvic fin may be as many as seven or nine. The division 


includes the family Zeidse (John Dory, &c), Amphistiidse (ex- 
tinct), and Pleuronectidae (Plaice, Sole, &c). In the first two 
families the body is symmetrical about the median plane, in 
the third family the one side, either the right or the left, is pale 
and the other side dark ; the two eyes are on the dark side and 
the greater part of the mouth is on the pale side. 

In the Zeidse the mouth is very protractile. The dorsal and 
anal fins are much elongated, the former with a distinct spinous 
portion, the latter with from one to four spines detached from 
the non-spinous portion of the fin. The pelvic fins have one 
spine and from six to eight soft fin-rays. A swim-bladder is 
present. The family is a small one, and the species most 
important in this country is the John Dory, Zeus faber, 750, Dory, 
a fish much valued for the table. In colour the John Dory 
is yellowish-grey, with wavy-bands, and a large black spot 
edged with yellow. The English name John Dory is said to 
be a corruption of an old Gascon name " Jan Doree," signifying 
Gilt-Cock ; another derivation is from " Janitore," after St. Peter, 
whose finger-mark was supposed to be the cause of the dark 
patch on each side. In Germany the fish is called " Petersrisch," 
and at Nice " Pei San Pierre." The Dory feeds on Sprats and 
similar fishes, and it swims with the median plane of the body 
not quite vertical, but slightly oblique. It is essentially a 
warm water fish ; it occurs in the Mediterranean and along 
the Atlantic coast from Madeira to Norway ; it is common in 
the English and Bristol Channels, where it is taken in the trawl ; 
in the North Sea it is rare. Zeus conchifer, 751, of Madeira, 
is a larger species than the John Dory, and differs in the number 
and disposition of the bony plates that occur in the skin at the 
bases of the fin-rays of the dorsal and anal fins. 

The Amphistiidce are an extinct family with the single genus 
Amphistium, from the Upper Eocene. Amphistium is interesting 
as being in all probability the prototype of the Pleuronectid 
fishes, before the origin of the asymmetry characteristic of that 
family. The dorsal and anal spines are few, and in continuous 
series with soft fin-rays; the pelvic fins have each a spine and 
eight soft rays. 


Flat- The fishes of the family Pleuronectidee, commonly known as 

fishes. Fl a t-fi s hes (figs. 83 and 84), lie upon their side when resting on 
the bottom of the sea. The front part of the skull is twisted 
in such a manner that the two eyes are on the upper surface, 
and as may be seen by reference to the cranium of the Halibut, 
755, the hinder part of the skull that contains the brain does 
not share in the torsion. The under surface of the fish, known 
as the ie blind " side, is flat and white in colour, whereas the 
upper surface is pigmented and more convex. The dorsal and 
anal fins are extensive and form a kind of fringe to the flattened 
body. The paired fins are often reduced, sometimes absent. 
There is no swim-bladder. The Pleuronectidse constitute a large 
family of fishes, almost all of them marine. They are valuable 
food-fishes and are represented in British waters by the Sole,, 
Turbot, Brill, Plaice, Halibut, &c. In the Turbot and Brill the 
eyes are on the left side, in the others they are on the right side. 
The food of the Plat-fishes consists principally of molluscs, 
crustaceans and sea- worms, but the Turbot and Brill feed on 
fishes, such as the Launce, Herring, Whiting, and even small 
fishes of their own family, such as the Sole and Plaice. 
Adalah. The least specialised of the family Pleuronectidae is the Adalah, 
Psettodes erumei, 752 and 753, fig. 83 A, of the Indian Ocean and 
seas of China and Australia ; the pelvic bones and fins are placed 
as in an ordinary fish such as the Perch, and the dorsal fin does 
not extend on to the head. It has been pointed out above that 
the two eyes of the Flat-fishes are on the same side of the body, 
but this does not apply to the very young. The fishes commence 
their existence as perfectly symmetrical fishes with their eyes 
on opposite sides of the head and their jaws similar on the right 
and left sides. As development proceeds and the body becomes 
more and more flattened, one of the eyes moves to the edge and 
then over to the same side of the body as the other eye, owing 
to a twisting of the front part of the skall. The Adalah is 
interesting in that it retains more completely the bilateral 
symmetry of the young than do any of the other Plat-fishes. 
The eye which migrates — sometimes the right, sometimes the 
left, since both right-handed and left-handed forms occur in 
this species (compare 752 and 753) — remains on the edge of 
the head, and does not come over completely on to the pigmented 



Fig. 83.— Flat-fishes. 

A, Adalah, Psettodea erumei '; H, Plaice, Pleuroneetet 

platessa ; 0, Turbot, lihombus maximus. 

(After Boulenger, Camb. Nat. Hist, vii, 1904.) 



side of the body. The right and left jaws of this fish are almost 
equally developed, and the teeth are much more powerful than in 
Flat-fishes generally. 
Halibut. After Psettodes, the least specialised of the Flat-fishes is Hippo- 
glossus, a genus including the Halibut, 754. In Hippoglossus 
the eyes are on the right side, the mouth is terminal and large, 
and teeth are present on both sides of the mouth. The body is 
long and comparatively narrow, and the dorsal fin commences 
above the more dorsally placed of the two eyes. The lateral 
line has a slight curve ; the scales are cycloid. The Halibut 
inhabits the deeper waters along the southern shores of the 
Arctic Ocean. It occurs off Spitzbergen, Norway, Iceland, 
Newfoundland, Alaska, California and Kamschatka. It is taken 
chiefly on long lines, at depths ranging from 50 to 100 fathoms. 
About 150,000 cwts. of Halibut, valued at £300,000, are landed 
in Britain annually, mainly from the Iceland and Faroe banks. 
The Halibut is the largest of the Flat-fishes and commonly 
attains a length of six or seven feet ; a specimen six feet long 
(1036) is shown on Table 49. 

Hippoglossoides, represented by the Long Rough Dab, Hippo- 
glossoides limandoides, 763, a fish of 12 or 15 inches in length, 
living in rather deep water in the north European seas, resembles 
Hippoglossus in that the eyes are on the right side and the mouth 
is terminal and large, with teeth on both sides ; but the anterior 
end of the body is not much narrowed ; the dorsal and ventral 
edges are rather straight ; the scales are ctenoid ; the lateral line 
is straight. 

In the genus Rhombus the mouth is large and terminal, with 
teeth on both sides, the eyes are on the left side, and the ventral 
eye is anterior to the dorsal. The shape of the body is rhomboidal, 
the middle of the body being very broad ; the lateral line has a 
semicircular curve anteriorly. The Turbot and Brill belong to 
this genus, the former being known as Rhombus maximus (756 
and 757, fig. 83 C, and the latter as Rhombus Icevis (759 
and 760). The Turbot differs from the Brill in having no 
ordinary scales but pointed tubercles scattered in the skin 
(compare the tubercles 758 and the scales 761). It is broader 
than the Brill in proportion to its length. The Turbot ranges 
from the Mediterranean to the southern part of Scotland and 

and Brill. 


the Skagerak. It is a shallow water fish, being rarely taken in 
depths exceeding 40 fathoms. About 70,000 cwts. of Turbot, 
valued at £300,000, are annually landed in Britain, mostly from 
the North Sea trawling grounds. The Brill has the same general 
distribution as the Turbot. 

Pseudorhombus russelli, 764*, is a fish widely distributed over 
the Indian Ocean and seas of East Africa, China and Australia. 
Closely allied to it is Paralichthys dentatus, 765 and 7G6, the 
" Flounder " of the Atlantic coast of America. In this fish the 
middle fin-rays of the caudal fin are longer than the others, so 
that the hind edge of the tail is not rounded, but has the form of 
an obtuse angle. 

The genus Pleuronedes is represented by the Plaice, the 
Flounder and the Dab. In this genus the mouth is terminal and 
very small, the teeth are more developed on the lower side than 
on the upper; the eyes are large and prominent, the dorsal fin 
commences above the dorsal eye ; the scales are small and in 
some cases rudimentary. The Plaice, Pleuronedes platessa, 767- Plaice. 
771, fig. 83 B, has uniform scales, some bright red or orange 
spots, a lateral line nearly straight, bony tubercles on the inter- 
orbital ridge, and a spine in front of the anal fin. The 
Plaice is comparatively a cold water fish. It is abundant all 
round the British and Irish coasts, on the coast of Iceland, and 
in the White Sea. It is very rare in the Mediterranean. It 
is taken only by the trawl, and in depths usually less than 30 or 
35 fathoms. About 1,100,000 cwts. of Plaice, of the value of 
.€1,200,000, are landed in Britain annually. Nine-tenths of the 
total are taken in the North Sea, where the young Plaice are 
mostly reared along the shallow coasts of Holland, Germany, and 
Denmark, from which they migrate off-shore as they grow older. ' 
The more northern forms, e. g. those taken off Iceland, are very 
dark in colour. 

The Flounder, Pleuronedes fiesus, 774> and 775, has tubercles Fi oun( j er 
at the bases of the fin-rays of the dorsal and anal fin ; the scales 
are rough along the lateral line, elsewhere they are rudimentary ; 
yellow spots are only exceptionally present. The Flounder is 
an estuarine fish except in the spawning season, when it descends 



to the sea. It occurs on all the coasts of Europe from the 
Mediterranean to the most northern waters of the Baltic, In 
the Zuyder Zee and Baltic the Flounder fisheries are valuable, 
but in Britain the annual take is only about 35,000 cwts. valued 
at £18,000. The Flounder grows to about 3 lbs. in weight. 
The Dab, Pleuronectes limanda, 773, is a small fish of little 
commercial value. 

Glyptocephalus, a genus related to Pleuronectes, is represented 
in British seas by two species, the Witch, Glyptocephalus cyno- 
glossus, 777, and the Smear Dab, Glyptocephalus microcephalics, 
776. This last is often sold in the London markets as " Lemon 
Sole," the small head and rounded outline of the body giving the 
fish some resemblance to the true Sole. An easy test may be 
applied by examining the scales with a lens, for the scales of 
" Lemon Sole " are cycloid, with smooth hind edge, whereas 
those of the Sole are ctenoid, with the exposed part rough and 
bristly or toothed. 

The Scald-fish, Arnofflossus laterna, 778, is a small and 
unimportant fish with a skin which is thin and tears off" so 
readily as to suggest that the fish has been scalded. Two species 
of Topknot occur in British seas, the One-spotted Topknot, 
Zeugopterus unimaculatus, 779, and Miller's Topknot, Zeugopterus 
punctatus, 780 ; the One-spotted Topknot is a more southern 
form than the other and is found as far south as the Mediterranean, 
whereas Miller's Topknot does not occur farther south than the 
Bay of Biscay. 

The Megrim or Whiff, Lepidorhombus megastoma, 781, is a 
fish growing to about 18 inches in length, and occurring off the 
coasts of Britain and Scandinavia. Ammotretis rostratus, 782, 
and lihombosolea flesoides, 783, are Australian forms of Flat-fish. 
Sole. In the genus Solea the mouth is rather small and not terminal ; 

it is curved downward towards the ventral edge. Teeth are present 
on the lower side only. The shape of the body is oval, the 
outline of the snout semicircular; the dorsal fin commences on 
the snout and is not continuous with the caudal ; the lateral 
line is straight, but with an anterior dorsal curve on the head ; 
the dorsal eye is anterior to the ventral. There are tactile filaments 



on the lower side of the snout; the scales are ctenoid. Four 
species of Solea occur off our coasts, the Common Sole, the most 
valuable of the four, the Sand Sole, the Thickback and the 
diminutive Solenette. 

In the Common Sole, Solea vulgaris, 784, fig. 84 D, the 
pectoral fins of both upper and under sides are of considerable 
size, and the nostrils of the two sides are similar. The markings 
of the upper side consist of longitudinal series of black blotches 
on a yellowish -brown ground. The Sole is the most valuable 
of the Flat-fishes on account of the delicacy of its flavour. It 
is a warm water fish, and is abundant in various localities around 
the coasts of England and Ireland, less common on the coast of 

Fig. 84. — Flat-fishes (continued). 
D, Sole, Solea vulgaris ; E, Cynoglossus lingua. 
(After Boulenger, Camb. Nat, Hist., vii, 1904.) 

Scotland ; it occurs also plentifully in the Bay of Biscay, off 
Portugal and in the Mediterranean Sea. The Sole is caught 
exclusively by the trawl, and in depths of less than 25 fathoms. 
Between 75,000 and 80,000 cwts. of Soles, valued at about 
£500,000, are landed in Britain annually. The principal British 
fishing grounds are off the Devon and Cornish coasts, and off 



Ramsgate, Lowestoft, and Grimsby, but many of the Soles that 
come to the London market are caught off Portugal and Morocco. 
Sand Sole. The Sand Sole, Solea lascaris, 786, differs from the Common 
Sole in being paler in colour after death, in having small black 
specks instead of large black blotches, and in the anterior nostril 
of the lower side being large and conspicuous and fringed 
internally. There is a black spot with a yellow margin on the 
pectoral fin. The Sand Sole is sometimes called the Lemon 
Sole, but the fish that is sold in London as the Lemon Sole is 
the Smear Dab, Glyptocephalus microcephalus, 776. The Thick- 
back, Solea variegata, 787, is smaller than the Common Sole, 
and the mouth is straight and more terminal. Tbe colour- 
markings consist of five dark bands on a reddish-brown ground ; 
the pectoral and pelvic fins are rudimentary. The Solenette 
Solea lutea, 788, is distinguished by the mouth being much 
curved and by the dorsal fin commencing on the extreme anterior 
end of the snout. There are dark blotches on a yellowish ground, 
and the dorsal and anal fins have a few scattered black fin-rays. 
The Solenette does not exceed five inches in length. 

The genera Synaptura (789 and 790) and Cynoglossus (791, 
fig. 84 E) differ from Solea in the dorsal and anal fins being 
confluent with the caudal fin. In Synaptura the eyes are on the 
right side, the upper in advance of the lower; in Cynoglossus the 
eyes are on the left side, there are no pectoral fins, and the upper 
part of the snout is produced backwards into a hook. The fishes 
of these genera occur in the tropical seas of the Old World. 

Gobiiformes (Gobies). 

The division Gobiiformes is a small division of the suborder 
A_canthopterygii and includes a single family, the Gobiidse ; the 
species of the family are numerous, and the fishes are mostly 
marine and of small size, although some species of Eleotris grow 
to two or three feet in length. The pelvic tins are thoracic in 
position and consist of one feeble spine and four or five branched 
rays ; they are in many species united to form a sucking disc. 

GOBIES. 181 

The Gobies proper (gcuus Gobius) are common in shallow coastal ( J "7- 
waters around the British Isles and the Continent of Europe, the 
British forms including the Common Goby, Gobius minutus, 801, 
the Rock Goby, Gobius paganellus, 796, the Painted Goby, Gobius 
jpictus, 802, the Spotted Goby, Gobius ruthensparri, 800, and fig. 85. 
and the Black Goby, Gobius niger, 799. The last species is mostly 
of an ashen grey colour, but when excited, as when in pursuit of 
its prey or when caught in a net, it changes to a dark smoke-colour. 
The Gobies are interesting on account of their breeding habits. 
The eggs are fixed by the female to the under surface of stones or 
weeds (see 1147, in Cabinet-case 29), or beneath a simple nest 
made out of shells of the Cockle or Limpet, or a Crab-shell. The 


Fig. 85. — Spotted Goby, Gobius ruthensparri. 
(From Boulenger, Cam. Nat. Hist., vii, 1904, after Holt and Byrne). 

male is more brilliantly coloured than the female, and guards the 
eggs until they are hatched, remaining attached to the stone or 
shell by its pelvic sucker. The White Goby, Aphiapellucida, 803, 
has a transparent and colourless body, and was formerly supposed 
to be the fry of a larger fish. It does not live more than a single 
year. The Walking-fish or Jumping-fish, Periophthalmus koel- 
reuteri, 804, is common on the mud-flats at the mouths of rivers 
in tropical Africa, Asia and Australia. It jumps about by the 
exercise of its stout pectoral fins and appears a curious object 
with its head raised and its two bulging eyes set close together 
near the top of the head. 


Echeneiformes (Sucking-fishes) . 

The Echeneiformes constitute a small division of the Acantho- 
pterygian fishes, containing a single family, the Echeneidae, and 
characterised by the anterior dorsal fin being set well forward upon 
the top of the flattened head, and modified into a sucker by the 
right and left halves of the fin-rays being bent outwards so as to 
form a paired row of transversely placed lamellae with rough edges. 
The margin of the sucking disc is soft and membranous (see 
isolated sucker, 808) . The mouth is terminal, and the mandible 
advanced ; the second dorsal and the anal fins are long in the 
base, without spines, and opposed to each other ; the pectoral fins 
are inserted high up the body, the pelvic fins are thoracic in 
position and have each one spine and five soft fin-rays. The 
Echeneidae were formerly regarded as allied to such Scombriform 
fishes as Elecate (712, Wall-case 15), but are now considered to 
occupy an isolated position. 
Kemora. The Remora or Sucking-fish, Echeneis remora, 807, and fig. 86, 
is found in all tropical and warm seas, and is sometimes caught as far 

Fig. 8(3. — Kemora or Sucking-fish, Echeneis remora. 

north as the south coast of England. It attaches itself by means 
of its adhesive disc to Sharks, Whales, Turtles, and even to boats, 
and is thus carried from place to place. It is not a parasite and does 
no harm to the large animal to which it is attached. When thrown 
on the deck of a ship a Remora will lie on its back and cling so 
closely to the wood by its head sucker that it can only be dislodged 
by a forward sliding motion. The Remora feeds on small fishes 
and probably also on the skin parasites that infest large fishes 
and Whales. 


Echeneis naucrates, 806, is closely allied to the Remora, but is 
more slender and has a relatively longer tail, and more fin-rays in 
the anal fin. In the Torres Strait the natives employ the Echeneis 
naucrates, or Gapu, as they call it, for catching Turtles. The fish 
is kept alive in water in the bottom of the canoe a thin string 
being fastened round its tail and through its gills. On a turtle 
being sighted in the vicinity of the canoe the Gapu is thrown 
out towards it ; the fish immediately swims to and fastens upon the 
carapace. If the turtle is of small size it is hauled in by the line, 
the fish retaining its tenacious hold, but if it be a large one a native 
jumps overboard with a stronger line, and following the course of 
the fine line arrives at the turtle and securely ties it by the stronger 
rope, returns to the canoe and tows his captive to land. 

Triyliformes (Gurnards). 

The fishes of the division Trigliformes have an " armoured 
cheek " ; the second suborbital bone is produced towards or fused 
with the pre-opercular bone and forms what is known as a " sub- 
orbital stay/' The pelvic fins are thoracic in position. The 
division includes comparatively simple Perch-like forms such as 
Sebastes and aberrant forms such as the Gurnards, with fully 
armoured head, the Flying Gurnards, with enlarged pectoral fins, 
and the Lump-suckers, with pelvic fins forming a sucking 

In the family Scorpsenidae the head is usually provided with Scorpae- 
sphies, but is not completely cuirassed. The spinous dorsal fin is 
strongly developed and is usually longer than the soft dorsal fin ; 
the anal fin usually has three spines. The fishes included in this 
family are carnivorous and marine and of wide distribution. 
Species of Sebastes and of allied genera are used as food. The 
dorsal fins of some, such as Scorpcena, Pterois, Synanceia, 
are provided with poison glands, and can inflict dangerous 

The Bergylt, Sebastes norvegicus, 812, called by some fish- Bergylt. 
mongers the ' Soldier ' on account of its bright red colour, is a fish 
confined to northern seas, such as those of Norway and Iceland ; 


it is esteemed as food, and occasionally finds its way to the London 
markets. Scorpcena is a widely distributed genus^ the species 
Scorpcena scrofa, 816, being common in the Mediterranean ; 
Scorpcena cirrhosa, 814, and Scorpcena diabolus, 815, are tropical 
forms. Pterois miles, 817, is an Indian fish remarkable for its 
brilliant red colour and the elongation of most of its fin-rays. 
Species of Agriopus (818-820), Synanceia (821-822), Pelor (824) 
and Centropogon (823) are also shown. 
Wall- The division Trigliformes continues from Wall-case 18 into 

jaee 1, . Wall-case 19, the first family in the latter being the Hexagram- 
matidse, comprising carnivorous fishes, mostly of large size, 
although the specimen exhibited, Chirus hexagrammus, 827, is of 
moderate size only. They occur on the rocky coasts of the 
North Pacific, and some of them are valued as food-fishes. The 
head has no strong spines and is not cuirassed, and there is a 
single nostril on each side, whereas in the preceding family 
(Scorpsenidse) there are two. The spinous dorsal fin has feeble 
Bull- The fishes of the family Cottidje have two nostrils on each side 

eaas. an( j ^e head is usually provided with spines. The spinous dorsal 
fin is usually shorter than the soft dorsal and sometimes indistinct ; 
the anal fin is without spines. The majority of the Cottid fishes 
are marine and found in northern seas. The best known forms 
of Coitus are the Miller's Thumb, Cottus gobio^ 831, a little fresh- 
water fish growing to five inches in length, very bulky about the 
head and gills, with eyes set on the top of the head, and with 
pectoral fins large and spreading out like fans, and the marine 
Bull-heads, e. g. the Father-lasher, Cottus bubalis, 830, and the 
Sea- scorpion or Sting-fish, Cottus scorpius. Cottus grcenlandicus, 
828, is probably but a northern form of Cottus scorpius. In 
America the species of Cottus are called " Sculpins/' but in Britain 
the name Sculpin is applied to the Dragonet, Callionymus 
lyra, 865. 
Lump- The Cyclopteridse are distinguished from the Cottidse by the 
small size of the gill-opening and by the pelvic fins being modified 
to form a sucking disc (835). The body is short and tumid, 



and the spinous dorsal fin 5 if present, is short. The fishes are 
sluggish in habits, and of wide distribution. The best known 
forms in British seas are the Lump-sucker and the Sea-snail. The 
Lump-sucker, Cyclopterus lumpas, 833-834, and fig. 87, is a 

Fig. 87.— Lump-sucker, Cyclopterus lumpus ; with a separate view of the 

clumsy-looking fish with a thick tuberculatcd skin and thin trans- 
parent bones. At the breeding season the male is more brilliantly 
coloured than the female. The eggs are laid in a pit made by the 


male, who watches over them until they hatch. The young 
then cling to his body by their suckers and remain thus 
attached until sufficiently grown to take care of themselves. The 
Sea-snails are diminutive fishes, two species of which are common 
on the coasts of Cornwall and Devon, Liparis vulgaris, 836, and 
Liparis montagui, 837. A deep-sea form of Sea-snail, Paraliparis 
fimbriatus, 973, is shown in the series of Deep-sea Fishes in 
Cabinet-case 44. 

In the families Platycephalidse and Hoplichthyidse the head is 
depressed, with spines, and with two nostrils on each side. The 
pelvic fins are widely separated and are set behind the pectorals in 
the former family and a little in advance of them in the latter. 
The fishes occur off the coasts in the Indian and Western Pacific 
Oceans (see 838-839). 

The Agonidse have the head completely cuirassed ; the body is 
covered with bony plates. The pelvic fins are set close together 
and none of the fin-rays of the pectoral fin are modified as " feelers " 
as they are in the next family, the Triglidse or Gurnards. The 

Fig. 88. — Flying G urnard, Dactylopterus volitans. 
(From Giinther, "Study of Fishes.") 

fishes are small; the only British form is the Pogge, Agonus 
cataphractus, 840. 
Gurnards. In the Triglid fishes or Gurnards the head is completely 
cuirassed and provided with spines. Two or three of the lower- 


most pectoral fin-rays are modified as delicate " feelers " which the 
animal uses as it moves about close on the sea-bottom in search of 
the small crustaceans that constitute its food. The pelvic fins are 
widely separated. The Gurnards are marine and are widely 
distributed in warm and temperate seas. The species found in 
British waters include the Grey Gurnard, Trigla gurnardus, 848 ; 
the Red Gurnard, Trigla pini, 845 ; the Cuckoo Gurnard, Trigla 
cuculus, 847, and the large Tub-fish or Sapphirine Gurnard, 
Trigla hirundo, 843. The Cape Gurnard, Trigla capensis, 849, 
does not differ materially from our Red Gurnard. Two species of 
the Armed Gurnard, Peristedion (841 and 842), and a specimen 
of the Australian Lepidotrigla (850) are also shown. 

In the Flying Gurnards or Dactylopteridae, fig. 88, the head is 
completely cuirassed, and the body is covered with hard, rough 
scales. The pelvic fins are set close together ; the pectoral fins 
are divided into two portions, the second of which is very large in 
the adult. The Flying Gurnards inhabit tropical and warm seas, 
and are able to move through the air like the Flying Fish 
{Eococcetus, 452, Wall-case 11 ), though for shorter distances. 
The fish emerges from the water with considerable impetus, and 
the rapid agitation of the large pectoral fins enables it to traverse 
a distance of several feet before falling back into the water. The 
best known Flying Gurnard is the Dactylopterus volitans (851 
and 852, skeleton), of the Mediterranean Sea and the temperate 
and tropical parts of the Atlantic Ocean. A specimen of an 
oriental species is also shown (853). 

Blenniiformes (Blennies). 

The division Blenniiformes or Jugulares includes a number of 
families of Acanthopterygian fishes in which the pelvic fins are set 
forward under the throat. There is no bony stay to the pre- 
operculum ; the gill-opening is in front of the pectoral fin, the 
base of which is vertically disposed or nearly so. The division 
includes such fishes as the Weevcrs, Star-gazers, Dragonets, 
Blennies, Wolf-fishes and Toad-fishes. 




In the first family, the Trachinidse, are included the Weevers 
(fig. 89), small fishes with a large, protractile mouth, an elongate 
body with cycloid scales in oblique bands, a short spinous dorsal 
fin, and a long soft dorsal and anal. The Weevers are found off 
the coasts of Europe and West Africa. There are two British 
species, which can inflict painful wounds by means of the dorsal 
and opercular spines, which are connected with poison glands and 
are channelled for the passage of the venom. The Greater Weever, 

>^^M^f^ ^ 


Fig. 89. — Weever, Trachinus draco, with an enlarged 
view of the poison spine. 

Trachinus draco, 854, is a marketable fish in France ; the flesh is 
of excellent flavour, but our fishermen usually prefer to throw the 
fish away than to run the risk of being pricked by the poison- 
spines when handling the fishes in sorting them out from the 
others in the hoat or on the quay. The name ' Weever ' is pro- 
bably a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon " wivere," a viper or 
serpent, and has reference to the poison-spines. The Viperine 
Weever, Trachinus vipera, 855, is smaller than Trachinus draco, 
and lives in shallower parts of the coast ; it differs also in having 
a fringe on the lips and in having no scales on the cheeks and 
gill -covers. 

The Nototheniidse are closely allied to the Weevers, but differ in 
the pelvic fins being widely separated. There is a single nostril 
on each side, and the scales are usually ctenoid, sometimes 
absent. The Nototheniid fishes occur mostly in southern seas. 
Three species of Percis are shown (857-859), and one of 
Chatnichthys (856). 


The Star-gazers (family Uranoscopidae) are a natural and well- g tar _ 
defined family deriving their name from the eyes being set on the gazers- 
upper surface of the large, broad head and looking upward as 
though gazing at the stars. The mouth slit is nearly vertical, the 
lower jaw being pushed well forward ; granular ossifications are 
developed on the roof and sides of the head. These fishes are 
inhabitants of most warm and tropical seas. The common Star- 
gazer of the Mediterranean, Uranoscopus scaber, 861, was well- 
known to the ancient Greeks, who termed it the ' Agnos/ or Holy- 
fish ; they also knew it as the c Ouranoscopos/ or Heavenward- 
looking Fish. 

The Star-gazer is a poor swimmer and lives mostly in the mud 
and sand. A newly caught specimen put into an aquarium sinks 
to the bottom of the water and by a few vigorous shovelling 
movements of the pectoral fins buries itself in the sand until only 
the mouth and eyes project. Here it lies quietly, the only signs 
of its existence being a slight rhythmical disturbance of the sand 
as the expired water leaves the gill-chamber, an occasional jerk of 
the eyes, and the waving of a delicate filament which is attached 
to the floor of the mouth and projects through the mouth opening. 
This is evidently the bait with which the Star-gazer angles. 
When a small fish, mistaking this filament for a harmless worm 
wriggling in the sand, approaches within reach of the jaws, there 
is a sudden disturbance of the sand caused by the rapid opening 
of the Star-gazer's mouth, and the career of the small fish is 

In addition to the Common Star-gazer (861) are shown two 
species occurring in the seas of China and Japan (860 and 862) 
and specimens of the Australian forms Kalhetostoma (861) and 
Anema (863). 

The Callionymidae include the Dragonets, fishes with a rather D ra «>- 
small and protractile mouth, a narrow gill opening, and a scaleless nets. 
skin. The first dorsal fin is composed of a few flexible spines ; the 
second dorsal and the anal fin are rather short. The fishes are 
small and widely distributed. The Common Dragonet of our 
shores is Calliomjmus lyra, sometimes called the Sculpiu (866, 


female ; 865, male) . At the breeding season the male becomes 
brilliantly coloured and differs from the female in the shape of the 
snout and the dorsal fins. 

The fishes of the family Gobiesocidae have a protractile mouth 
of moderate size ; the pelvic fins are widely separated from each 
other ; the dorsal and anal fins are short and without spines • 
there are no scales in the skin. There is a ventral sucker, simple 
or double, supported by the pectoral and pelvic girdles and the 
pelvic fins. These fishes, known as Ciing-tishes, are small, and 
are met with between tide-marks amoug loose stones and shells, to 
which they cling by their ventral sucker. They are of world-wide 
distribution ; species of Lepadogaster occur on the British coasts, 
particularly the Cornish Sucker. Lepadogaster gouanii, 868. 
Wolf-fish. The Blenniidse have more or less elongate bodies, naked or with 
small scales. The dorsal and anal fins are long, and the caudal is 
distinct. All of the dorsal fin-rays are spinous or non-articulated, 
or the anterior ones only. The family is a large one, composed 
mostly of small marine fishes ; the largest are the Wolf-fishes 
(Anarrhichas) , some of which grow to five feet in length. The 
Common Wolf-fish is Anarrhichas lupus, 871, and fig. 90, in some 

Fig. 90.— Wolf-fish, Anarrhichas 

parts known as the Cat-fish or Sea-cat. The Wolf-fishes are 
unprepossessing, voracious animals with powerful body and strong 
jaws and teeth (see skull 872). The Wolf-fish has been known to 
attack persons wading in the water at low tide. The fiesh is good, 
but is not much eaten. The genus Blennius is represented in the 
exhibited series by the Tompot, Blennius gattorugine, 873, and 
the Shanny, Blennius pholis, 874, both of which occur in British 


seas. The other forms shown, Gadopsis, Clinus, Tripterygium and 
the curious looking Patcecus, are from the Australian region. 

The fish known as the Viviparous Blenny (88I7882), one 
of the few bony fishes that bring forth their young in an actively 
living state instead of depositing eggs or spawn, belongs to the 
family Zoarcidae. The Zoarcidse have very small scales or no 
scales in the skin ; the dorsal and anal fins are long in the base 
and there is no distinct caudal fin ; spinous fin-rays as a rule are 
wanting. The family is widely distributed in all seas, and some 
of the forms are adapted for life at great depths and have reduced 
eyes, to be seen only on dissection. The Cuban Cave-fish, 
Lucifuga subterranea, 880, is the only fresh- water form, and this 
also is blind. It is colourless and transparent, and grows to a 
length of five inches. 

The Gunnel or Butter-fish, Pholis gunnellus, 879, belonging to 
the family Pholididse, is a little fish common on our shores, and 
remarkable for the manner in which the female rolls the eggs into 
a ball and deposits them in a hole in the rock bored by the 
bivalve mollusc Pholas. 

The Batrachidae or Toad-fishes are a small family of fishes with Toad-fish, 
a broad, flattish head and reduced gill openings. The mouth is 
large and the upper border is supported to a considerable extent 
by the maxillary bones. The spinous dorsal fin is very short, the 
soft dorsal, and the anal fin long in the base. The fishes of the 
family are sluggish and voracious, and occur near the shores of 
tropical and warm seas. The European Toad-fish, Batrachus 
didadylus, 878, has scales, but the American Toad-fish is without 
scales. The young of the former has on the ventral surface of the 
body a sucking disc, which soon disappears. 

The Ophidiidae are fishes related to the Zoarcidse; they have a 
tapering tail without a distinct caudal fin, and the pelvic fins 
are reduced to two pairs of filaments set just behind the chin. 
There are no spines to any of the fins. The example shown is 
Genypterus blacodes, 883, from Australian seas. Aphyonus 
gelatinosus, an example of one of the deep-sea members of the 
family, is exhibited in the series of Deep-sea Fishes (Cabinet- 
case 44, specimen 974). 


Trachypteriformes (Ribbon-fishes) . 

Ribbon- The division Trachypteriformes is a small one, containing the 
two families Lophotidse and Trachypteridse, the former with a 
single genus, Lophotes, the latter with two, Trachypterus and 
Regalecus (fig. 91). The body is much laterally compressed, 
usually ribbon-like in shape, whence the popular name " Ribbon- 


Fig. 91. — Ribbon-fish, Regalecus gladius. 

fishes." The dorsal fin extends from the top of the head to the 
tail, its rays are simple and not spinous, and the anterior rays are 
longer than the others. The pectoral fin has a nearly horizontal 
base; the scales are minute or absent. These fishes occur in the 
deeper parts of the Atlantic, North Sea, Mediterranean, and 
Pacific. In the family Lophotidse the vent is situated far back, 
and behind it is a short anal fin, but in the Trachypteridse there 
is no anal fin and the vent is situated at about the middle of the 
length of the body. The mouth is very protractile in the Trachy- 
pteridse, moderately so in the Lophotidse. 

The Deal-fish or Northern Ribbon-fish, Trachypterus arciicus, 
of which a coloured drawing (885) of the natural size is shown, 
has six fiu-rays in the pelvic fin, and the caudal fin consists of 
two parts, the upper of which is large and upwardly directed. 
Specimens of the Deal-fish are occasionally stranded upon the 
coasts of Scotland and Norway. In the young Trachypterus (886) 
the fin-rays of the first dorsal and the pelvic fins are remarkably 
long, and the dorsal fin-rays are provided with arrow-head lappets 
of skin set at regular intervals. A specimen of Trachypterus 
crktatus from the Mediterranean is shown, mounted in a glass 
vessel of alcohol (884) . 


Regalecus has no caudal fin, and the pelvic fin is composed of a 
single fin-ray. The Oar-fish or Ribbon-fish {Regalecus glesne) 
is occasionally cast up on the coasts of Cornwall and Yorkshire, 
and off Bergen, in Norway. The Scandinavian fishermen call it 
the " Sild-Kung" r King of the Herrings, and imagine that if 
one is killed the Herrings will depart from the district. The 
coloured drawing 887 is a life size representation of the Southern 
Ribbon-fish, Regalecus argenteus, specimens of which are obtained 
off New Zealand and Australia. A skeleton of Regalecus argenteus 
twelve feet long is shown elsewhere in the Gallery. Some of the 
" Sea-serpents " seen by sailors and others may have been large 
specimens of the Ribbon-fish. Specimens of more than 25 feet 
in length are known. 

Lophiiformes (Angler-fishes). 

The Lophiiformes, known also as the Pediculati, are a suborder Wall- 
of Teleostean fishes comprising the families Lophiidae (Angler- case 
fishes), Ceratiidse, Antennariidae, and Malthidae (Bat-fishes). The 
pectoral fins are set far back and the bones of the fins are 
elongated ; the pelvic fins are jugular in position. The head is 
large, the gill-opening is small and far back, and the gills are 
reduced in number to two or three on each side. One or more 
dorsal fin-rays standing upon the head are modified into tentacular 
structures known as a lures." The Lophiiform fishes are poor 
swimmers and are mostly of sluggish habits. 

In the Lophiidae (fig. 92) the mouth is very large and has teeth 
which are so hinged as to bend over towards the throat (see jaw 
893). The skin is soft and bare. The fishes have a depressed 
body and live on the bottom, at moderate or great depths. The 
most familiar is the Angler-fish, Fishing-frog or Sea-devil, Lophius Aug-ler. 
piscatorius , 892, in which the first few dorsal fin-rays are set over 
the snout and are long and flexible; they terminate in dermal 
expansions which are the lures. The fish "angles" with these 
lures, and by a sudden opening of its great mouth swallows such 
small fishes as nibble at them. Around the margin of the body 
are fringed lappets of skin which by their resemblance to sea-weed 




Serve to render the body less conspicuous (fig. 92). The Angler 
grows to five feet in length ; two specimens of about that length, 
and also a large skeleton, are shown elsewhere in the Gallery. 

Fig. 92. — Angler or Sea-devil, Lophius naresii. The branched processes of 
skin are longer in this than in the British species, Lophius piscatorius. 

The Ceratiidae, represented by Dolopichthys allector in the 
series of Deep-sea Fishes (Cabinet-case 44, specimen 972), may 
be regarded as Angler-fishes modified in relation with a deep sea 
habit. The skin is bare and black in colour ; the lure may 
be luminous; pelvic fins are absent. The bones are thin and 

The Antennariidae are strange-looking fishes occurring in 
tropical seas and rarely descending below the surface. They are 
sometimes called Frog-fishes because they creep along the rocks 
like Frogs or Toads, the pectoral fins being geniculated or bent 
after the manner of a knee-joint. Chaunax pictus (896), a 
reddish deep-sea fish, and Antennarius histrio (895) are shown. 
The species of Antennarius are numerous, and most of them occur 
in association with living corals, among which they lie effectively 
concealed by reason of the similarity between the colour of their 
skin and that of the coral. Some species (e. g. Antennarius 
marmoratus) occur in mid-ocean among the Gulf-weed (Sar- 
gassum) . 

In the Malthidse the mouth is smaller than in most of the 
Lophiiform fishes and opens downward rather than upward. The 


pectoral fin is strongly geniculated. The gill-opening is above 
the pectoral fin, instead of below or behind. There is no 
conspicuous lure ; if present it is lodged in a depression below 
the snout and serves presumably as a tactile organ. The skin is 
provided with small tubercles or spines or bony warts. Most 
Malthid fishes are found in deep seas of the tropical regions, 
although the Bat-fish itself, Maltke vespertilio, 897, is a shallow- 
water form. It occurs abundantly in the West Indies. When on Bat-fish, 
the ground it stands upon its pectoral and pelvic fins and resembles 
a Toad in general attitude. The skeleton of the Bat-fish (898) 
shows the remarkable elongation of the basal bones of the pectoral 
fins. Halieutaa (899) is 'allied to the Bat-fish, but the outline of 
the head is more circular, and there are also differences in the 

Balistiformes (File-fishes and Sun-fishes). 

The suborder Balistiformes, or Plectognathi, includes aberrant 
fishes, such as the File-fishes,, Trunk-fishes, Globe-fishes, and Sun- 
fishes. The jaws are short, the maxillary and premaxillary bones 
are often firmly united, and the teeth may be confluent into a beak. 
The bones of the gill-cover are reduced and the gill-opening is 
small. The vertebrae are comparatively few and there are no ribs. 
The flesh of most of these fishes is poisonous, and if eaten 
produces a disease of the nervous system known as " Ciguatera." 

In the first family, the Triacanthidae, the teeth remain separate ; 
there is a spinous dorsal fin with one large and one or more 
smaller spines, and the pelvic fins have each the form of a strong 
spine, whence the name Triacanthidae or three-spined fishes. 
They are fishes of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Two species of 
Triacanthus (900 and 902) are exhibited, also a skeleton (901). 
A cast of Halimochirurgus from the Manaar Gulf, Ceylon, is 
shown in the series of Deep-sea Fishes (Cabinet-case 44, specimen 
977). It is a deep-sea genus of the family, remarkable for its long, 
tube-like snout. 

The Triodontidae have the premaxillary bones confluent with the 
maxillaries, and the teeth are fused to form a beak. The upper 



beak is divided by a median suture, whereas the lower is un- 
divided, whence the name Triodont or three-toothed fishes. 
There is no spinous dorsal fin, and there are no pelvic fins. The 
abdomen has a dilatable sac. The body is covered with small 
spiny laminae of bone. There is a single species, Trio don 
bursarius, 903, of the Indian Ocean. 

In the File-fishes (family Balistidae) the teeth remain separate 
and have the form of incisors. There is a spinous dorsal fin; the 
pelvic fins are absent, or they take the form of a single short spine 

Fig. 93. — File-fish, Balistes vidua. 

at the end of the long pelvis (see skeleton 912). The principal 
genera are Balistes (File-fishes or Trigger-fishes, fig. 93), Mona- 
canthus and Aluteres. They are all inhabitants of tropical and 
temperate seas. The largest species of the genus Balistes grow to 
three feet. The body is protected by closely-fitting, hard, 
rhomboidal scales. The teeth are powerful and enable the animal 
to break off pieces of coral, etc., on which it feeds, and to bore into 
or chip the edges of shells of molluscs ; the Pearl Oyster is 
particularly liable to attack (see the shells 920). One species 
of Balistes (B. capriscus, 911) is occasionally caught in British 
seas ; the exhibited specimen was obtained on the Cornish coast. 
Eleven other species of Balistes are exhibited (907-910 and 913- 
919) which serve to show the wide range of colouring and marking 
observable in the genus. Erythrodon (921) is a subgenus of 
Balistes distinguished by the possession of red teeth. Monacanthus 



does not have large bony plates in the skin, but very small scales or 
spines of uniform size ; five species are represented, also a 
skeleton (922-927). 

The Ostraciontidae, commonly called Trunk-fishes or Coffer- 
fishes (fig. 94), are tropical fishes living near the bottom in shallow 
water. The body is encased in a carapace formed of large bony 
plates, mostly hexagonal in shape. There is no spinous dorsal fin, 
and the pelvic fins are wanting. The chief genera are Ostracion 
and Aracana. Some species of the former have strong, sharp 
spines (e. g. Ostracion cornutus, 932), a pair pointing forward in 
front of the eyes and a pair pointing backward beneath the tail. 


Fig. 94. — Coffer-fish, Ostracion quad rico mis. 

Six species of Ostracion are shown (929-934). Aracana differs 
from Ostracion in that the bony carapace is not closed behind the 
anal fin; three species are shown (935-937). 

In the Tetrodontidse the teeth are coalescent, forming upper and 
lower beaks. The beaks are divided by a median suture, so that 
there appear to be four large teeth, whence the name c Tetrodont ' 
(see skull 942). The skin is either smooth or with movable spines, 
rarely with bony plates. There is no spinous dorsal fin, and pelvic 
fins are wanting. The Tetrodont fishes can inflate their belly with 
air, whence they are commonly termed ' Puffers ' or ' Globe-fishes.' 
When thus inflated they float helplessly at the surface of the 
water, belly upwards. The Tetrodont fishes occur in all tropical 
and warm seas j a few species are found in fresh water. Thirteen 
species of Tetrodon are shown (941, 943-947, 949-955) and a 
skeleton of Tetrodon stcllatus (948). 

In the Diodontidie, as in the preceding family, the teeth are 
coalescent, forming beaks. The upper and lower beaks have no 




median suture, however, and appear as two great teeth, whence the 
name 'Diodont' (see jaws 956). There is no spinous dorsal fin, 
nor pelvic fins. The body is inflatable (fig. 95) ; there are 
movable bony spines in the skin, and in the long-spined species the 
spines stand out from the skin when the belly is inflated with air, 
although otherwise they slope backward. This capacity of erection 
of the spines has gained for the Diodont fishes the name of 


Fig. 95. — Porcupine-fish, Diodon maculatus ; as swimming and 
when inflated. 

' Porcupine-fishes/ Two specimens of the common Porcupine- 
fish, Diodon hy striae, are shown (958-959). the upper specimen 
in a state of inflation, the lower in the condition in which the fish 
swims about. Several other species are shown (961-966). The 
Diodontidse are confined to tropical seas. 

In the Suu-fishes (family Molidse) the teeth are coalescent, 
forming beaks ; these have no median suture. The swim-bladder 
is absent and the body is non-inflatable. The body is short and 



has high dorsal and anal fins. There is no true tail, but the 
dorsal and anal fins are confluent around the truncated hind end 
of the body. There is no spinous dorsal fin, and pelvic fins are 
wanting. The Sun-fishes are of wide distribution, and grow to a 
great size. A large specimen of the Rough Sun-fish, Orthagoi'iscus 
mola, obtained from Australia, hangs from the middle of the roof 
at the northern end of the Gallery. A somewhat smaller specimen, 
caught off Duugeness, hangs from the rail opposite Wall-case 8. 
The small specimen (967) shown in Wall- case 20 was also caught 
on the English coast. The Sun-fish is of particular interest, 
because, although recently the young larvse or Leptocephali of the 
Common Eel have been caught by nets in the Atlantic Ocean, our 
earlier knowledge of them was based mamly upon specimens found 
in the stomachs of Sun-fishes caught on the Italian coast. The 

Fig. 96. — Oblong Sun-fish, Ranzania tnincata. 

Oblong Sun-fish, Ranzania truncata, 968 (see fig. 96, and compare 
with fig. 3, p. 11), differs from the Rough Sun-fish not only in 
shape, but in possessing a smooth skin with hexagonal plates, 
whereas the Rough Sun-fish has a rough, minutely granulated skin. 


Classification of Fishes adopted in the Fish Gallery. 

Class PISCES. 
Order 3. SELACHII. 

Suborder 1. Notidani. 
Suborder 2. Squall 
Suborder 3. Rail 

Order 4. PLEURACANTHODES (= Ichthyotomi). 



Order 3. PTERIOHTHYOMORPHI (= Antiarcha). 
Subclass IV. DIPNOI. 




Order 4. COCCOSTEOMORPHI (= Arthrodira). 
Subclass V. TELEOSTOMI. 

Order 1. STYLOPTERYGII (= Crossopterygii, auct.). 

Suborder 1. Tarrasioides (= Haplistia). 
-| Suborder 2. Holoptychioides (= Rhipidistia). 

« <g Suborder 3. Ccelacanthoides (= Actinistia). 

j2^ Suborder 4. Polypteroides (= Cladistia). 

£3 Order 2. ASTYLOPTERYG1I. 

«8 O 

| = Suborder 1. Sturioniformes (= Chondrostei). 

& - Suborder 2. Amiiformes (= Protospondyli). 

re Suborder 3. Lepidostelformes (= ^Etheospondyli). 


Order 3. N EIGHTH YES (= Teleostei). 
Grade A. Physostomi. 

Suborder 1. Saemoni-clupeiformes (= Isospondyli). 
Suborder 2. Cyprini-siluriformes ( = Ostariophysi ;. 
Suborder 3. Symbranchiformes. 
Suborder 4. Anguilliformes (= Apodes). 
Suborder 5. Esocifor.mes (= Haplomi). 
Grade B. Physoclisti. 

Suborder 6. Halosauriformes (= Heteromi). 
Suborder 7. Gastrosteiformrs (= Catosteomi). 
Division 1. Selenichthycs. 
Division 2. Hemibranchii. 
Division 3. Lophobranchii. 
Division 4. Hypostomides. 

Suborder 8. Mugiliformes (= Percesoces). 
Suborder 9. Gadiformes (=Anacanthini, in part). 
Suborder 10. Acanthopterygii. 

Division 1. Perciformes. 

Division 2. Scombriformes. 

Division 3. Zeorhombiformes. 

Division 4. Kurtiformes. 

Division 5. Gobiifonnes. 

Division H. Echeneiformes (= Discoce2)hali). 

Division 7. Trigliformes ( = Scleroparei). 

Division 8. Blenniiformes y= Jugulares). 

Division 9. Trachypteriformes (= Tceniosonri). 

Division 10. Mastacembeliformes (= Opisthomi). 
Suborder 11. Lophiiformes (= Pediculati). 
Suborder 12. Balistiformes (= Plectognathi). 


Wall- case 1 

Table-case 21 

p. 21 

p. 34 

p. 40 

p. 46 

p. 49 

p. 55 

p. 79 

pp. 101 & 116 

p. 112 

p. 121 

p. 132 

p. 142 

p. 147 

p. 151 

p. 158 

p. 167 

pp. 169 & 171 

p. 172 

p. 184 

p. 193 



P- 8 

Floor-case 24 p. 170 

Table 25 pp. 13 & 32 

Cabinet-case 26 p. 12 

Floor-case 27 p. 12 

Cabinet-case 28 p. 12 

„ 29 p. 12 

., 30 p. 12 

,. 31 ... p. 12 

Table-case 32 p. 12 

„ „ 33 p . 12 

„ „ 34 p . 12 

„ „ 35 p. 13 

„ ., 36 p. 13 

., „ 37 p. 13 

,. 38 p. 14 

„ 39 p. 14 

,. ., 40 p. 14 

„ 41 p. 14 

„ ., 42 p. 14 

Cabinet case 43 p. 14 

„ 44 p. 16 

Table-case 45 p. 20 

„ 46 p. 20 

„ „ 47 p. 20 

„ 48 p. 20 

Table49 p. 13 

Table-cass50 p. 13 

„ 51 p. 13 

Central Exhibits p. 8 

Side-rails p, 10 


Abramis, 109. 
Aoanthias, 37. 
Acanthodides, 23. 
Acantholabrus, 163. 
Acanthopterygii, 142. 
Acanthurus, 158. 
Acerina, 146. 
Acipenser, 13, 75. 
Acrodus, 29. 
Adalah, 174. 
JEtheospondyli, 77. 
Aetobatis, 10, 44. 
African Lung-fish, 60. 
Agonns, 18(1 
Agriopus, 184. 
Albacore, 14, 167. 
Albula, 85. 
Alburnus, 110. 
Alepidosaurus, 13, 124. 
Alepocephalus, 100. 
Allis Shad, 92. 
Alopecias, 11, 33. 
Aluteres, 196. 
Amblyopsis, 125. 
American Lung-iish, 60. 
American Shad, 93. 
Amia, 79, 81. 
Amiif'ornies, 79. 
Amiurus, 113. 
Ammoccete, 6. 
Ammodytes, 134. 
Ammotretis, 178. 
amphiccelous, 81. 
Amphioxus, 2. 
Amphiprion, 162. 
Amphisile, 129. 
Amphislium, 173. 
am phi sty lie, 26. 
Anabas, 137. 
Anablcps, 125. 
Anarrhichas, 190. 
Anchovy, 94. 
Anema, 189. 
Angel-fish, 38, 157. 

Angler, 12. 14. 

fish, 193. 

Anguilla, 116. 
Anguilliformes, 116. 
Antennarius, 194. 
Aphanopus, 16, 169. 
Aphia, 181. 
Aphredoderus, 144. 
Aphyonns, 17, 191. 
Apodes, 116. 
Appendicularia, 4. 
Aprion, 149. 
Aracana, 197. 
Arapaima, 13. 89. 
Archer-fish, 144 156. 
Argentina, 99. 
Arius, 13, 113. 
Armed Gurnard, 187. 
Arnoglossus, 178. 
Arthrodira, 62. 
Artificial pearls, 110. 
Ascidian larva, 3. 
Aspidorliynchus, 78. 
Aspredo, 115. 
Astern canthus, 29. 
astero-spondylic, 28. 
Asfcylopterygii, 71. 
Atherine, 134. 
Aulopus, 124. 
Aulostoumtidoe, 120. 
Aulostomatoinorplui, 17, 

Australian Lung-fish, 58. 
autostylic skull, 55. 
Azurine, 108. 

Bagarius, 13. 
Balistes, 196. 
Balistiformes, 195. 
Ballan Wrasse L63. 
Band-fish, 150. 
Barbel, 106. 
Barbus, 106. 
Barracuda, 1 1, 136. 

Basking Shark, 33. 
Bass, 148. 

, Black, 144. 

, Stone, 12. 

Bastard Dory, 149. 
Bat-fish, 195. 
Bathypterois, 19, 123. 
Bathythrissa, 85. 
Batoidei, 40. 
Batrachus, 191. 
Bdellostoma, 6. 
Belone, 132. 
Belonostomus, 78. 
Bergylt, 183. 
Beryx, 143. 
Betta. 160. 
Big Drum. 151. 
Bishop Ray, 44. 
Bitterling, 108. 
Black Bass, 111. 

Dog-fish, :;?. 

finned Shark. .'!.">. 

fish, 136. 

Goby, 181. 

mouthed Dog-fish, 


Ruff, 136. 

Bleak, 110. 
Blennies, 187. 
Blennius, 190. 
Blenny, Viviparous, 191 t 
Bliecopsis, 1 10. 
Blind-fish, 125. 
Blue Shark, .*)■">. 
Boa-fish, 155. 
Bodenrenke, 99. 
Bonito, 167. 
Bow-fin, 79,81 
Brama, 171. 
Bream, I"'.'. 

flat. L09. 

. ( tovernraoat, 1 18. 

, Pomeranian, 1 L0. 



Bream, Eay's, 171. 

, White, 109. 

Brill, 176. 

Brook Trout, 16, 97. 
Brosmius, 142. 
Brown Trout, 97. 
Bull-head, 113, 184. 
Bull Trout, 16. 
Buinmalow, 124. 
Burbot, 141. 
Burton Skate, 43. 
Butter-fish, 191. 
Butterfly-fishes, 155. 

Calamichthys, 70. 
Callichtbys, 115. 
Callionyinus, 189. 
Callorhynchus, 51. 
Candle-fish, 100. 
Cantharus, 152. 
Cape Gurnard, 187. 
Capelin, 100. 
Capros, 155. 
Carangidse, 167. 
Caranx, 168. 
Carcharias, 12, 35. 
Carcharodon, 13, 32. 
Cariba, 102. 
Carp, 104. 

, Crucian, 105. 

, Hamburg, 105. 

. Leather, 105. 

, Mirror, 105. 

, Prussian, 105. 

Cat-fish, 112, 190. 

, Electric, 114. 

Catla, 105. 
Catosteomi, 126. 
Catostomus, 104. 
Cave-fish, 125, 191. 
Caviare, 75. 
Centrarchidae, 144. 
Centrina, 38. 
Centriscidas, 129. 
Centrolabrus, 163. 
Centropogon, 184. 
Centrolophus, 137. 
Cephalaspis, 53. 
Cephalochorda, 2. 
Cepola, 150. 
Ceratiidae, 194. 
Ceratodus, 58. 
Cestracion, 8, 29. 
Cetorhinus, 8, 33. 
Chaenichthys, 188. 
Ch*todon. 155, 157. 
Chanos, 94. 
Characinids, 102. 
Charr, 16, 97. 

(Jhatoessus, 93. 
Chauliodus, 19, 101. 
Chaunax, 194. 
Cheirodus, 73. 
Cheirolepis, 72. 
Chelmo. 156. 
Chiasmodon, 19, 135. 
Chilodactylus, 152. 
Chiloscy Ilium, 31. 
Chirnsera, 50. 
Chirocentrus, 90. 
Chirus, 184. 
Chlamydoselachus, 26. 
Chondrostei, 72. 
Chondrosteus, 74. 
Chorinemus, 168. 
Chrysophrys, 154. 
Chub, 107. 
Cichla, 161. 
Cichlidaj, 160. 
Cisco, 99. 
Citharinus, 102. 
Cladodus, 22. 
Cladoselache, 22. 
Clarias, 112, 114. 
Climatius, 23. 
Climbing Perch, 137. 
Clinus, 190. 
Clupea, 91, 92, 93. 
Clupeidre, 90. 
Cobitis, 111. 
Coccosteomorphi, 62. 
Coccosteus, 62. 
Cochliodus, 30. 
Cod, 139. 

Ccelacanthoides, 68. 
Ccelacauthus, 68. 
Coffer-fish, 197. 
Coilia, 94. 
Common Eel, 116. 

Goby, 181. 

Skate, 43. 

Sea-squirt, 3. 

— Sole, 179. 
Conger, 116, 119. 
Congo Lung-fish, 60. 
conus arteriosus, 21, 71. 
Copidoglanis, 114. 
Coregonus, 98, 99. 
Coridodax, 165. 
Corkwing, 163. 
Cornish Sucker, 190. 
Corvina, 151. 
Coryphaena, 171. 
Coitus, 184. 
Crenilabrus, 163. 
Crossorhinus, 31. 
Crucian Carp, 105. 
Ctenodipterini, 56. 
ctenoid scale, 178. 

Ctenolabrus, 163. 
Cuckoo Gurnard, 187. 
Cuckoo Wrasse, 163. 
Cybium, 167. 
cycloid scale, 178. 
Cyclopterus, 185. 
Cyclostomi, 4. 
Cynoglossus, 180. 
Cyprini-siluriformes, 101. 
Cyprinodonts, 124. 
Cyprinus, 104. 

Dab, 178. 

, Long Bough, 176. 

, Smear, 178 

Dace, 107. 
Dactylopterus, 187. 
Dapedius, 79. 
Dascyllus, 161. 
Datnioides, 144. 
Deal-fish, 192. 
Deep-sea fishes, 16. 
Dentex, 152. 
Devil-fish, 43. 
Devil-Bay, 10. 
Diagramma, 152. 
Dicerobatis, 10, 43. 
Dinichthys, 63. 
Diodon, 198. 
Diodontidas, 197 
Dipneumones, 60. 
Dipnoi, 55. 
Dipterus, 56. 
Dog-fish, 9, 30. 

, Black, 37. 

■, Black-mouthed, 31. 

, Piked, 37. 

, Spiny, 37. 

• , Spotted, 30. 

Dolopichthys, 19, 194. 
Dolphin-fish, 171. 
Dorab, 90. 
Dorade, 153. 
Doras, 114. 
Dorosoma, 93. 
Dory, Bastard, 149. 
Dragonets, 189. 
Dragon-fish, 131. 
Drepanaspis, 53. 
Drepane, 157. 
Drum, 151. 

Eagle-Bay, 10, 44. 
Echeneiformes, 182. 
Echeneis, 182. 
Echinorhinus, 38. 
Edaphodon, 51. 
Eel, 116. 

, Common, 116. 

, Electric, 103. 


Eel, Fresh- water, 116. 

pout, 141. 

Egyptian Lung-fisb, 60. 
Elasmobranchii, 21. 
Elecate, 167. 
Electric Cat-fish, 114. 

Eel, 103. 

Kay, 45. 

Elephant-fish. 51. 
Elfin Shark, 12, 33. 
Flops, 84. 
Elver, 117. 

, Glass, 118. 

Engraulis, 94. 
Epbippus, 157. 
Epibulus, 164 
Epinepbelus, 14, 147. 
Equula, 151. 
Erythrinus, 10'2. 
Erythrodon, 196. 
Esociformes, 121. 
Esox, 122. 
Etroplus, 160. 
Eugnathus, 80. 
Euoxymetopon, 13, 169. 
Eurynotus, 73. 
Eusthenopteron, 65. 
Euthynotus, 82. 

Father-lasher, 184. 

Fera, 99. 

Fiatola, 137. 

Fierasfer, 120. 

Fii'teen-spined Stickle- 
back, 129. 

Fighting-fisli, 160. 

File-fishes, 196. 

Fishing-frog, 193. 

Fistularia, 129. 

Five-bearded Eockling, 

Flapper Skate,„43. 

Flat-fish, 172, 174. 

Flounder, 177. 

Flute-moutb, 129. 

Flying Gurnard, 187. 

Fork-beard, Greater, 141. 

Four-eyed Fish, 125. 

Fox Shark, 11,33. 

Fr.-sli-water Eel, 116. 

Fritillaria, 4. 

Gadiformes, 138. 
Gadopsis, 190. 
Gadus, L39. 
Galaxias, 121. 
Galeichthys, 113. 
Galeocerdo, 12, 35. 

Galeus, 36. 
Galway Trout, 15. 
Gambian Lung-fish, 60. 
Ganoid-fish, 200. 
Gar-fish, 132. 

-pikes, 78. 

Gastrosteifortues, 120. 
Gastrosteus, 127. 129. 
Gastrostoinus, 18. 120. 
Gastrotokeus, 130. 
Genyoroge, 148. 
Genypterus, 191. 
Geotria, 6. 
Gerres, 151. 
Gilt-head, 153. 
Ginglymostoma, 11, 31. 
Glass Elver, 118. 
Globe-fish, 197. 
Glyptocephalus, 178. 
Gnathonemus, 86. 
Gobies, 180. 
Gobiesocida;, 190. 
Gobiiformes, 180. 
Gobio, 107. 
Gobius, 181. 
Goby, Black, 181. 

, Common, 181. 

, Painted, 181. 

, Kock, 181. 

, Spotted, 181. 

, White, 181. 

Golden Orfe, 108. 

Tench, 108. 

Gold-fish, 105. 
Gold-sinny, 103. 
Gomphosus, 164. 
Gonorhynchida?, 101. 
Gorgonichthys, 63. 
Government Bream, 148. 
Grayling, 99. 
Great Blue Shark, 13, 

Lake Trout, J 5. 

Greater Fork-beard, 141. 

Launce, 134. 

Pipe-fish, 131 1. 

Sand-eel, 134. 

Weever, 188. 

Greenland Shark, 11, 38. 
Grenadier, 138. 
Grev Gurnard, 187. 

Mullet, 134. 

Shark, 11, 27. 

Grilse, 96. 
Gudgeon, 107. 
Ghilpers, 120. 
Gunnel, 191. 
Gurnard, 183, 180. 

, Armed, 187. 

, Cape, 187. 

Gurnard, Cuckoo, 187. 

, Flying, 187. 

, Grey, 187. 

, Eed, 187. 

, Sapphirine, 187. 

Gwyniad, 99. 
Gymnarehus, 87. 
Gymnotus. 103. 
Gyrodus, 80. 

Haddock, 140. 
Hag- fish, 6. 
Hair-tail, 169. 
Hake, 140. 
Halibut, 13, 176. 
Halieutsea, 195. 
Halimochirurgus, 195. 
Hamburg Carp, 105. * ** 
Hammer-head Shark, 12, 

Hapaku, 148. 
Haplodactylus, 152. 
Haplomi, 121. 
lfarpodon, 124. 
Harriott a, 51. 
Heniochus. 156. 
Heptanchus. 27. 
Herring, 91. 

, Lake, 99. 

heterocercal. 21. 
Heteromi, 126. 
Heterotis, 90. 
Hexancbus, 27. 
Hickory-Shad, 93. 
Hippocampus, 131. 
Ilippoglossoides, 170. 
Hippoglossus, 13, 170. 
Histiophorus, 17". 
Histiopterus, 149. 
Hog-fish, 104. 
Holacanthus, 157. 
Holocentrum, 1 l.'i. 
Holocepbali, 49. 
Holoptyohiodes, 64. 
Holoptychiu9, 65. 
Holosaurit'ormes, 120. 
Homelyn Kay, 43. 
homocercal, 82. 
Hoplichthyida', 186. 
Hoplognatlius, 150. 
Horned Ray, 44. 
Horse-Mackerel, 10S. 
Eouting, 99. 
Hybodus. 29. 
Eydrocyon, 102. 
Ilvodon, 87. 
byostylic, 8, 20. 
Hyperlophus, '.<">. 
11\ peroartia, 4. 



Hyperotreta, 6. 
Hypsocormus, 81. 

Ice-fish, 100. 
Ichthyodectes, 91. 
Ide, 107, 108. 
Ipnops, 17, 124. 
isinglass, 76. 
Isospondyli, 83. 

Jew-fish, 20, 147. 
John Dory, 173. 
Jugulares, 187. 
Julis, 163. 
Jumping-fish, 181. 

Kathetostoma, 189. 
Kelt, 96. 
King-fish, 127. 
Kipper, 96. 
Kokopu, 121. 

Labrus, 163. 
Lachnolaimus, 164. 
Lady-fish, 85. 
Lgemargus, 11, 38. 
Lake Herring, 99. 
Lamna, 13, 20, 32. 
Lampern, 5. 
Lamprey, 4. 

, Mud-, 5. 

, Planer's, 5. 

Lampris, 12, 127. 
Lancelet, 2. 
Lates, 12, 148. 
Latilus, 149. 
Latris, 152. 
Launce, 133. 

'■, Greater, 134. 

, Lesser, 134. 

Leather Carp, 105. 
Lemon Sole, 178, 180. 
Lepadogaster, 190. 
Lepidopus, 17. 
Lepidorhombus, 178. 
Lepidosiren, 60. 
Lepidosteiformes, 77. 
Lepidosteus, 78. 
Lepidotrigla, 187. 
Lepidotus, 13, 169. 
Lepomis, 144. 
Leptocephalus, 117. 
Leptolepis, 83. 
Lesser Launce, 134. 

Sand eel, 134. 

Leuciscus, 107. 

Ling, 140. 
Liparis, 186. 
Lirus, 137. 
Loach, 111. 

, Pond, 111. 

, Spined, 111. 

, Stone, 111. 

Lobotes, 144. 
Long Rough Dab, 176. 
Lophiiformes, 193. 
Lophius, 12, 14, 193. 
Lophobranchii, 130. 
Lopholatilus, 149. 
Lophotes, 192. 
Loricaria, 115. 
Lota, 141. 
Lucifuga, 191. 
Lucioperca, 146. 
Lump-sucker, 185. 
Lung-fish, 55. 

, African, 60. 

— , American, 60. 

, Australian, 58. 

, Congo, 60. 

, Egyptian, 60. 

■ , Gambian, 60. 

Luvarus, 171. 

Mackerel, 166. 

, Horse-, 168. 

Shark, 1&, 32. 

•, Spanish, 166. 

Macrodon, 102. 
Macropoma, 68. 
Macrurus, 138. 
Mahseer, 106. 
Malacanthus, 149. 
Malacosteus, 17, 101. 
Mallotus, 100. 
Malopterurus, 114. 
Malthe, 195. 
Man-eater Shark, 32. 
Marane, 99. 
Meagre, 13, 20, 151. 
Megalichthys, 66. 
Megalops, 12, 84, 85. 
Megrim, 178. 
Menhaden, 93. 
Merluccius, 140. 
Mesodon, 80. 
Mesoprion, 148. 
Mesturus, 80. 
Micropogon, 151. 
Micropterus, 144. 
Milk-fish, 94. 
Miller's Thumb, 184. 

Topknot, 178. 

Minnow, 107. 
Mirror Carp, 105. 

Misgurnus, 111. 
Mitsukurina, 12, 33. 
Molidce, 198. 
Molva, 140. 
MoDacanthus, 196. 
Monk-fish, 38. 
Monocentris, 144. 
Monopneumones, 58. 
Moon-eye, 87. 

fish, 102. 

Mordacia, 6. 
Moray, 120. 
Mormyrus, 86. 
Morone, 148. 
Mosal, 106. 
Moss-banker, 93. 
Motella, 141. 
Mud-Lamprey, 5. 
Mud-Minnows, 121, 123. 
Mugil, 135. 
Mugiliformes, 132. 
Mullet, Grey, 134. 

, Eed. 154. 

Mullus, 154. 
Mumea, 148. 
Muraena, 121. 
Murray-cod, 148. 
Mustelus, 36. 
Myletes, 102. 
Myliobatis, 44. 
Myriosteon, 42. 
Myripristis, 144. 
Myxine, 6. 

Namaycusb, 98. 
Naseus, 158. 
Naucrates, 169. 
Needle-fish, 129. 
Neichthyes, 82. 
Nemachilus, 111. 
Nemichthys, 120. 
Nerfling, 107, 108. 
Nerophis, 130. 
Nile Perch, 12. 
Nomeus, 137- 
Northern Ribbon-fish, 

Notidani, 26. 
Notidanidas, 26. 
Notidanus, 11, 27. 
Notocanthus, 126. 
Notopterus, 88. 
Nototheniidae, 188. 
Nurse Hound, 30. 

Oar-fish, 193. 
Oblong Sun-fish, 199. 
Ocean Pipe-fish, 130. 



Odax, 165. 
Odontasois, 12, 33. 
Old-wife, 152, 
Oligorus, 148. 
Ombre, 151. 
Onehorhynchus, 13, 98, 
One-spotted Topknot, 

Onus, 141. 
Opab, 12, 127. 
Ophidiidae, 191. 
Opbiocepbalus, 137. 
Orfe, 108. 

, Golden, 108. 

Orthagoriscus, 10, 199. 
Osraerus, 100. 
Ospbromenus, 159. 
Ostariophysi, 101. 
OsteoglossidiB, 89. 
Osteoglossum, 90. 
Osteolepis, 66. 
Ostracion, 197. 
Ostracoderini, 51. 
Ox-eye, 85. 
Ox Ray, 44. 

Pachycorniidoe, 81. 
Pacbvcormus, 82. 
Paddle-fish, 74. 
Pagellus, 154. 
Pagrus, 153. 
Painted Goby, 181. 
Palasoniscus, 72. 
Palasospinax, 29. 
Paralicbtbys, 177. 
Paraliparis, 19, 186. 
Parr, 95. 

Parrot-fish, 12, 164. 
Paru, 157. 
Patascus, 190. 
Pearls, artificial, 110. 
Pediculati, 193. 
Pegasus, 131. 
Pelor, 184. 
Perea, 145. 
Percesoces, 132. 
Perch, 145. 

, Climbing, 137. 

, Nile, 12. 

, Pirate, 144. 

Perciformes, 142. 
Percis, 188. 
Periophthalraus, 181. 
Peristedion, 187. 
Perlon, 27. 
Petalodus, 39. 
Petroniyzon, 4. 
Phaneropleuron, 56. 
Phinok, 97. 

Pholidophorida?, 83. 
Pholis, 191. 
Phycis, 141. 
Phyllopteryx, 131. 
Physoclisti, r_'.">. 
Physostomi, 83. 
Pike, 121, 122. 
Piked Dog-fish, 37. 
Pike-perch, 146. 
Pilchard, 92. 
Pilot-fish, 169. 
Pine-cone-fish, 144. 
Pink, 95. 
Pipe-fish, 130. 

, Greater, 130. 

, Ocean, 130. 

Pirarucu, 89. 
Pirate Perch, 144. 
Pisces, 6. 
Plaice, 177. 
Pla-kat, 160 
Planer's Lamprey, 5. 
Platycephalidae, 186. 
Platysomus, 73. 
Platystoma, 13. 
Plecostoinus, 115. 
Plectognatbi, 195. 
Pleuracanthodes, 49. 
Pleuracanthus, 49. 
Pleuronectes, 177. 
Pleuronectidae, 174. 
Pleuropterygii, 22. 
Pogge, 186. 
Pogonias, 151. 
Pollan, 99. 
Polynemidas, 135. 
Polyodon, 74. 
Polyprion, 12, 148. 
Poly ptero ides, 70. 
Polypterus, 70. 
Poiyrhizodus, 39. 
Pomaeanthus, 157. 
PomacentridaB, 161. 
Pomeranian Bream, 110. 
Pond Loach, 111. 
Pope, 14(5. 

Porbeagle Shark, 20, 32. 
Porcupine-fish, 198. 
Portheua, 91. " 
Port Jackson Shark, 8, 

Powan. 99. 
Pride, 6. 
Prionurus, 158. 
Prist iophor us, 39. 
Pristipoma, 152. 
Prist is. 11, 41. 
Pristiurus, 31. 
Proselachii, 22. 
Protopterus, 60. 

Protospondyli, 79. 
Prussian Carp, 105. 
Psephurus, 74. 
Psettodes, 174. 
Psettus, 155. 
Pseudochromididas, 149. 
Pseudorhombus, 177. 
Pseudoscarus, 12, 164. 
Pteraclis, 171. 
Pteraspis, 52. 
Pterichthvs, f>4. 
Pterois, 184. 
Pteroplatea, 49. 
Puffers, 197. 
Pycnodus, 80. 

Quinnat Salmon, 13, 98. 

Rabbit-fish, 51. 
Raia, 13, 43. 
Raii, 40. 

Rainbow Trout, 98. 
Ranzania, 199. 
Rat-tail, 138. 
Ray, 10, 21, 24, 42. 

, Bishop, 44. 

's Bream, 171. 

Ray, Eagle, 44. 

, Electric, 45. 

, Homelyn, 43. 

, Horned, 44. 

. Ox, 44. 

, Sandy, 43. 

-, Shagreen, 43. 

, Starry, 43. 

, Sting, 46. 

R» 1-eye, 107. 

Gurnard, 187. 

Mullets, 154. 

Tai, 153. 

Rejplecus, 13, 192, 193. 
Remora, 182. 
Rhachicentrum, 167 
Rhina, 38. 
Rhinobatus, 42. 
Rhinodon, 10, 34. 
Rhizodontidae, 65. 
Rhodeus, 108. 
Rhomboaolea, 178. 
Rhombus, 176. 
Rhyucliobatus, 12. 
Ribbon-fish. 13, 192, 193. 

, Northern, 192. 

Roach, li)7. 
Rock-cook, 163. 

Goby, 181. 

Rockling, 141. 

, Five-bearded, 141. 



Eockling, Three-bearded, 

Rough Sun-fish, 199. 
Rudd, 107. 
Rudder-fish, 137. 
Ruffe, 146. 
Ruvettus, 109. 

Saccobranchus, 112, 114. 
Saccopharynx, 18, 120. 
Sail-fish, 170. 
Salanx, 100. 
Salminus, 102. 
Salmo, 15, 95. 
Salmon, 95. 

Peal, 96. 

, Quinnat, 13, 98. 

■ Trout, 97. 

Salmon! - clupeiformes, 

Salmonidse, 94. 
Sand-eel, 133. 

.Greater, 134. 

■ , Lesser, 134. 

Sand-piper, 6. 

smelt, 134. 

, Sole, 180. 

Sandra. 146. 
Sandy Ray, 43. 
Sapphirine Gurnard, 187. 
Sargus, 152. 
Saurodon, 91. 
Saury, 132 
Saw-fish. 11, 40. 
Scabbard-fish, 169. 
Scad. 168. 
Scald-fish, 178. 
Scaphirhyhchus, 77. 
Scarus, 164. 
Scatophagies, 157. 
Schal, 114. 
Schelly, 99. 
Sciaena, 13, 20, 151. 
Scleropages, 90. 
Scomber, 166. 
Scombresox, 132. 
Scopelus, 123. 
Scorpididse, 155. 
Sculpin, 189. 
Scyllium, 30. 
Scymnus, 37. 
Sea-bream, 154. 
Sea-cat, 190. 
Sea-devil, 193. 
Sea-horse, 131. 
Sea-perch, 14, 147. 
Sea-scorpion, 184. 
Sea-snail, 186. 

Sea-squirt, Common, 3. 
Sea Trout, 16, 97. 
Sebastes, 183. 
Selache, 8, 33. 
Selachii, 24. 
Selenichthyes, 127. 
Semionotida?, 79. 
Seriola, 168. 
Serranus, 148. 
Serrasalmo, 102. 
Seven-gilled Shark, 27. 
Shad, 92. 

, Allis, 92. 

■ , American, 93. 

, Hickory, 93. 

, Thwaite, 92. 

Shagreen Rav, 43. 
Shanny, 190." 
Shark. 21, 24. 

, Basking, 33. 

, Black-finned, 35. 

, Blue, 35. 

, Elfin, 12, 33. 

, Fox, 11, 33. 

.Great Blue, 13, 32. 

.Greenland, 11,38. 

, Grey, 11, 27. 

, Hammer-head, 12, 


, Mackerel, 13, 32. 

, Man-eater, 32. 

, Porbeagle, 20, 32. 

, Port Jackson, 8, 

28. , 

, Seven-gilled, 27. 

, Six-gilled, 27. 

, Spinous, 38. 

, Tiger, 35. 

, Whale, 10. 34. 

, White, 35, 

, Zebra, 31. 

Sharp -nosed Skate, 43. 
Sheep's head, 152. 
Shovel-nosed Sturgeon, 

Sbrimp-fish, 129. 
Siel-Smelts, 99. 
Sik, 99. 
Sillago, 150. 
Siluridffi, 112. 
Silurus, 113. 
Six-gilled Shark, 27. 
Skate, 13, 42. 

, Burton, 43. 

: , Common, 43. 

, Flapper, 43. 

, Sharp-nosed, 43. 

Skelly, 99. 
Skipper, 132. 
Smear Dab, 178. 

Smelt, 100. 
Smolt, 95. 
Smooth Hound, 36. 
Snake-head, 137. 
Snapper, 153. 
Snipe-fish, 129. 
Sole, Common, 179. 
- — , Lemon, 178, 180. 

■ , Sand, 180. 

Solea, 178, 179. 
Solenette, 180. 
Solenognathus, 131. 
Solenostomatidag, 131. 
Spanish Mackerel, 166. 
Sparidse, 152. 
Sphyrasna, 14, 136. 
Spinachia, 129. 
Spinax, 37. 
Spined Loach, 111. 
Spinous Shark, 38. 
Spiny Dog-fish, 37. 
spiral valve. 21. 
Spook-fish, 51. 
Spoon-bill Sturgeon, 
Spotted Dog-fish, 30. 
Spotted Goby, 181. 
Sprat, 92. 
Squali, 27. 
Squaloraia, 50. 
Square-tail, 137. 
Star-gazer, 189. 
Starry Ray, 43. 
Stegostoma, 31. 
Stereolepis, 20, 147. 
Sterlet, 76., 
Stern optyx, 101. 
Stickleback Fifteen- 
spined, 129. 

, Ten-spined, 129. 

: ,Three-spined, 127. 

Sting-fish, 184. 
Sting Ray, 46. 
Stomias, 101. 
Stone Bass, 12, 148. 

Loach, 111. 

Strom ateidse, 136. 
Stromateus, 137. 
Striped Wrasse, 163. 
Sturgeon, 10, 13, 75. 

, Shovel-nosed, 77. 

, Spoon-bill, 74. 

, Sword-bill, 74. 

Sturioniformes. 72. 
Stylopterygii, 63. 
Sucker, 104. 

, Cornish, 190. 

Sucking-fish, 182. 
Sun-fish, 10, 144, 198 

, Oblong, 199. 

, Rough, 199. 



Surgeon-fish, 158. 
Sword-bill Sturgeon, 74. 
Sword-fish, 170. 
Synanceia, 184. 
Synaptura, 180. 
Syngnatbus, 130. 
Synodontis, 130. 

Taeniura, 47. 
Tarpon, 12, 85, 
tectospondylic, 39. 
Teleostei, 82. 
Teleostomi, 63. 

, 108. 

Tench, Golden, 108. 
Ten-pounder, 84. 
Ten-spined Stickleback, 

Tetragonurus, 137. 
Tetrodon, 197. 
Teuthididte, 158. 
Thaleichthys, 100. 
Thickback, 150. 
Thornback, 43. 
Tnread-tins, 135. 
Three-bearded Eoekling, 
Three-spined Stickleback, 

Three-spotted Wrasse, 

Thresher, 11, 33. 
Tliunnus, 14, 166. 
Thwaite Shad, 92. 
Thymallus, 99. 
Thjrsites, 16!). 
Tiger-fish, 102. 

Shark, 35. 

Tilapia, 160. 
Tile-fish, 149. 
Tinea, 108. 
Titanichthys, 63. 
Toad-fish, 191. 

Tobacco-pipe-fish, 129. 
Tompot, 190. 
Tope, 36. 
Topknot, 178. 

, Miller's, 178. 

, One-spotted, 178. 

Torpedo, 45. 
Torsk, 141. 
Toxotes, 144, 156. 
Trachinus, 158. 
Trachynotus, 168. 
Trachypteruorrues, 192. 
Trachypterus, 192. 
Triacanthus, 195. 
Trichiurus, 169. 
Trigger-fish, 196. 
Trigla, 187. 
Triglif'ormes, 183. 
Triodon, 196. 
Tripterygium, 190. 
Trout, 15. 

, Brook, 16, 97. 

, Brown, 97. 

, Bull, Hi. 

, Galway, 15. 

, Great Lake, 15. 

, Rainbow, 98. 

, Salmon, 97. 

, Sea, 16. 97. 

Trumpeter, 152. 
Trunk-fish 197. 
Trygon, 12, 47. 
Trygonorhina, 42. 
Tub-fish, 187. 
Tunny, 14. 166. 
Turbot, 176. 

Umbra, 121. 
Uinbrina, 151. 
Undina, 68. 
Unicorn-fish, 1 
Upeneus, 155. 

Uranoscopus, 189. 
Urogyinnus, 47. 

Valentin's Sea-hound, 37. 
Vendace, 99. 
Viperine Weever, 188. 
Viviparous Blenny 191. 

Walking-fisb, 181. 
Weever, Greater, ISS. 

, Viperine, 188. 

Wels, 1 13. 

Whale Shark, 10, 34. 
Whiff, 178. 
Whitebait, 91. 
White Bream, 109. 

fish, 98, 107. 

Goby, 181. 

Shark, 35. 

Whiting, 140. 
Witch, 178. 
Wolf-fish, 190. 
Wrasse, 1(52. 

, Ballan, 163. 

, Cuckoo, 163. 

, Striped, l(>. - >. 

, Three-spotted, 163. 

Wreck-fish, 12. 

Xipbias, 170. 
Yellow-tail, 16S. 

Zebra Shark, 31. 
Zeorhombif'ormas 1 72. 
X lugopterus, 178. 
Zeus, 173. 
Zygsena, 12, 36. 



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